Kenya’s president on Saturday pledged $15.7 million to assist citizens affected by the ongoing El Nino rains, as the death toll from the heavy rains and flooding rose to 70.
William Ruto confirmed the death toll and expressed his condolences while addressing the devastating consequences of the natural phenomenon, committing to meet the urgent need for assistance in affected regions.
“We have made available 2.4 billion Kenyan shillings ($15.7 million) to provide food to the displaced people across the country,” Ruto said.
“The ongoing rains have resulted in an emergency situation in the country. Trucks have been stuck with food, medicines, and fuel. Roads have been destroyed especially in northern Kenya,” the Kenyan leader said at the State House in Nairobi after meeting multi-agency emergency response teams.
He also revealed that the ongoing rains have forced the displacement of 36,160 households.
Ruto directed the Kenyan military to help in airlifting basic commodities to areas where roads have been destroyed.
The announcement follows a tragic incident that unfolded a day before, where eight individuals lost their lives while attempting to cross the swollen Muooni River in Makueni county, located in the southeastern part of Kenya.
As part of the aid package, the allocated funds will be directed toward providing food, shelter, and other essential necessities to those affected by the adverse weather conditions.
The East African region has been grappling with the devastating impact of El Nino rains, which have wreaked havoc across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
The three countries have borne the brunt of the relentless downpours, resulting in loss of life, infrastructure destruction, and widespread displacement.
El Nino is a climatic phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures, these include shifts in rainfall patterns, increased likelihood of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, and disruptions to ecosystems worldwide.