Nairobi, Kenya, 4 December 2019
UNICEF has sent supplies in response to the heavy rains and floods experienced in Kenya since mid-October, bringing relief to around 130,000 affected people. According to the Government spokesman, 330,000 people have been affected, 17,000 displaced and 132 died, due to floods and landslides. Damage to essential infrastructure including roads, schools and health facilities has disrupted access to critical services for children and families.
“Children’s lives have been interrupted by the ongoing rains and floods in Kenya, with many of them losing their homes, schools and access to health care,” UNICEF Kenya Representative Maniza Zaman said. “UNICEF is working closely with county governments in affected areas to provide life-saving interventions, to meet the immediate needs of flood-affected children and their families.”
UNICEF has distributed supplies in the areas of child protection, education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation in affected counties. This includes pre-positioned supplies that are stored in flood and drought-prone areas in case of emergencies. The organization is also working with communities to map at-risk populations, to help ensure that children and their families are safe.
Health and hygiene are a particular concern, due to submerged toilets and contaminated water supplies increasing the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera.
To date, UNICEF has provided the following support to families in flood-affected counties:
- Health: over 200,000 sachets of oral rehydration supplies to treat dehydration, 85,000 bottles of sodium lactate solution to treat severe diarrhea, 30,000 tablets to treat pneumonia, and 1,600 cholera test kits.
- Water, sanitation and hygiene: 22,400 jerry cans, 22,500 buckets, 53,000 bars of soap, over 311,000 sachets of water purification chemicals, and 2.1 million tablets of water treatment chemicals.
- Child protection: 1,000 dignity kits for girls and boys. For girls, these contain menstrual hygiene management materials. Both boys and girls get clothing, toothbrush, soap, and toilet paper.
- Education: two classroom tents, 200 boarding supplies (beds, bedsheets and pillows), textbooks and stationery.
- Non-food items: over 800 family relief kits, containing cooking utensils, bedding, soap, water containers and basic shelter materials for a family of five.
UNICEF is working in coordination with county governments and partners in Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Kisumu, Mandera, Marsabit, Nairobi, Tana River, Turkana, Samburu, Wajir and West Pokot. Other humanitarian partners are providing food and shelter for displaced families.
According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, heavy rains are expected to continue across the country up to mid-December, causing bursting of river banks and dams. UNICEF is working with communities to improve their emergency preparedness.
“UNICEF will continue to support the ongoing flood response, in order to ensure that children are safe, healthy, and able to continue their education” Maniza Zaman said. “At the same time, it is vital that we work with communities in flood and drought-affected areas, to better prepare them for any future natural disaster.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.