NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) began on Saturday airlifting Government of Kenya relief food and supplies to areas cut off by widespread flooding.
In response to a formal request by the Government, WFP deployed a Mi-8 helicopter to deliver life-saving assistance to families in parts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Tana River counties.
“While we have allocated relief supplies to meet the needs of families affected by flooding, we face a serious challenge in delivering them because of access constraints,” said Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs).
“We have therefore requested WFP to mobilize a high-capacity helicopter to enable us to continue with relief activities.”
Since the start of the short rains in early October, floods have destroyed bridges and cut off major roads, especially in the Northeast, paralyzing transport. The Kenya Meteorological Department says the rains in arid and semi-arid regions are so far two to three times above normal and are forecast to peak in mid-November.
“The Government of Kenya is taking a strong lead in reaching people whose lives have been affected by the floods,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Annalisa Conte. “WFP can draw on its global capacity to mobilize aviation services to support Government relief efforts and ensure the timely delivery of life-saving support.”
Over the years, WFP has worked very closely with the Ministry of Devolution and ASALs in monitoring the impact of disasters such as droughts and flooding and alleviating the suffering caused by them. The Government says the floods have led to the loss of 38 lives, displaced 11,700 families and killed more than 10,000 animals.
The WFP flood response is part of the overall UN Resident Coordinator’s emergency response.
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For more information please contact:
Penina Kihika, Ministry of Devolution and ASALs
Mob. +254 722 628255
Martin Karimi, WFP/Nairobi
Tel. +254 20 7622310, Mob. +254 707 722161
Peter Smerdon, WFP/Nairobi
Tel. + 254 20 7622179, Mob. +254 707 722104