LONDON - November 20 - Floods in the Horn of Africa have driven thousands of people from their homes -affecting 1.8 million people across the region.
The worst hit areas are in Somalia at Hiran and Middle Shabeele, close to Puntland, where the aid agency has been responding to the tsunami. Two of the country’s biggest rivers, the Juba and Shabeele burst their banks.
Currently the UN is undertaking an aerial assessment but no interventions have yet been made. It is believed the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in the country.
Rains have also badly affected north eastern Kenya and south eastern Ethiopia.
Flash floods along the Tana river have affected Garissa and Ijara in northern Kenya, displacing at least 6,000 people while six people have lost their lives.
“Poor people in these areas were extremely vulnerable after a prolonged drought,” said Roger Yates, head of emergencies at ActionAid.
“As usual it is women who are bearing the brunt of the crisis – we need to make sure they get a rightful share of assistance.”
An irrigation scheme in Garissa in Kenya, built by ActionAid at a cost of Ksh650,000, has been washed away. The scheme was helping former pastoralists to set up as farmers.
Livestock and homes have been swept away by flash floods. Madogo and Maroro areas are completely flooded.
On the road from Mwingi to Tharaka, a public bus skidded on a flooded road and rolled over. Three passengers were killed, including a man whose wife works for one of ActionAid's partner organisations. The organisation, Kirira, works for the rights of children.
Two children also died in the accident. It is thought that they may have been pupils at a school supported by ActionAid.
The Kenyan government and the Kenyan Red Cross Society have responded with emergency food aid.
“The challenge is more than what we see today – we need to keep our eyes on recovery as well as relief,” said Yates.
"This is yet another reminder of the real impact of climate change on poor people.”
The road to Wajir is cut off at Habaswein and local government officials have asked for a helicopter to help airlift people out.
In Isiolo, the floods have cut roads and interrupted food aid deliveries to pastoralists who are still recovering from the drought earlier this year. People have abandoned their homes to move to higher ground, and are in urgent need of food, according to Wario Galma, manager of ActionAid's programmes in Kenya's North East province.
"People are already hungry," he said. "Their livestock died because of the drought. Now the roads are impassable so food is failing to reach them."