Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Horn Of Africa: Over 100 Killed And 700,000 Displaced By El Nino Rains As Region Braces For More Wild Weather

Devastating flash floods have killed at least 111 people, including 16 children, across the Horn of Africa in recent weeks, with more than 770,000 people displaced and rains showing no signs of slowing down, said Save the Children.

Unrelenting rainfall across Kenya’s northern counties and the capital Nairobi has led to widespread flooding, displacing an estimated 36,000 people and killing 46 people since the beginning of the rainy season less than a month ago. Two boys drowned in two separate incidents in Nairobi, where city rivers have broken their banks and flooded informal settlements.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Similarly, heavy rainfall in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands has left the central Somalia town of Beledweyne completely submerged, after the Shabelle river burst its banks forcing and estimated 250,000 people or 90% of the population out of their homes. Across Somalia, eight children are amongst 32 people who are known to have died in the floods, with more than 456,000 displaced country-wide. Bay region, in South West State, is bearing the brunt of heavy rains, accounting for 37% (454,320 people) of the more than 1.24 million people affected by the floods.

In the Gambella, Afar and Somali regions of Ethiopia, Save the Children teams are reporting continuous and relentless heavy downpours, which have led to flooding, landslides and displacement. At least 33 people including eight children have died in the floods in Ethiopia, with the deaths caused by people drowning while trying to flee the devastation [1].

The floods are the latest in a series of extreme weather events in recent years to hit the Horn of Africa, where children and communities find themselves at the sharp end of the global climate crisis.

The El Nino weather phenomenon, which has brought the unusually heavy rains, thunderstorms and extreme floods, comes after the worst drought in 40 years following five failed rainy seasons which has decimated livestock and crops, pushing the the region to the brink of famine.

The aid agency is calling for urgent national and international intervention to respond to the massive displacement in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Many of the displaced families forced to move to higher ground, including thousands of children, are now in critical need of emergency supplies like food, shelter, clean water, and toilets.

Save the Children’s Country Director for Somalia, Mohamud Mohamed Hassan, said:

"We’re calling for urgent action to help communities to respond and better protect children’s lives and reduce long-term imp act . While children are the most vulnerable to crises like th e s e , they are also extremely resilient. With the right support, given at the right time, they can overcome even the most unimaginable challenges. "

Save the Children’s Country Director for Kenya, Yvonne Arunga, said:

" Children are always the most vulnerable in crises like this. They are more likely to face hunger, become severely malnourished or contract deadly diseases when they are cut off from nutritious food, safe water, sanitation facilities or healthcare.

"We need to urgently ramp up our support to families and children including sharing messaging with families on how to reach safe spaces in time ahead of flooding, supporting evacuation plans or protecting school infrastructure ahead of a storm so that children can return to learning as soon as possible. Critical to this is also making sure that children input into planning processes wherever possible. "

Save the Children’s Country Director for Ethiopia, Xavier Joubert, said:

"Heavy flooding and displacement have cut off families and children from basic services including access to food, healthcare, water and hygiene services. With that comes the real risk of waterborne diseases including cholera and measles.

"We need to make funds available to ensure we act in anticipation of such humanitarian crisis and the continuity of essential services like healthcare facilities, schools, and child protection systems. Interventions such as reinforcing buildings and water infrastructures to better withstand extreme weather or ensuring health teams are equipped with equipment and skills to support both prevention and response to outbreaks will go a long way in supporting communities . "

Save the Children is utilizing prepositioned items and humanitarian relief materials in Ethiopia and is providing cash assistance and distributing household items to displaced people in Kenya. In Somalia, the aid agency is running mobile health and nutrition services in evacuation sites, water tracking, hygiene promotion, distribution of mosquito nets and acute watery diarrhoea kits.

Save the Children has worked in the Horn of Africa for over 70 years and is a national and international leader in humanitarian and development programming in health, nutrition, water hygiene and sanitation, education, child protection and child rights governance. In 2022, Save the Children reached 14.7 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, including more than 9.6 million children.

Save the Children New Zealand is currently raising funds for Somalia. Donate here.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.