Crocodiles, snakes, pollution add to flood victims’ troubles in Kenya and Somalia – UN

27 November 2006

Attacks by crocodiles and snakes, disease from over-flowing latrines, and hunger are just some of the problems plaguing hundreds of thousands of flood victims in parts of Kenya and Somalia after the heaviest rains there in years, according to the latest United Nations update.

With flooding expected to continue and also affecting Ethiopia, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is using fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to transport aid workers and humanitarian assistance to victims as road access is still difficult.

Last week WFP launched an $11.4 million three-month air operation for regions in Somalia and Kenya where more than 1 million people have been affected. Including Ethiopia, the UN puts the total in some way affected by the flooding at up to 1.8 million.

In Somalia, years of civil war that has damaged the infrastructure have made the country one of the most difficult places in the world to deliver food aid. The floods in the south-central area have exacerbated the problem by washing away what roads and bridges there were.

WFP has delivered over 6,000 tonnes of food to some 180,000 people in six affected districts in Somalia since 17 October.

Marooned villages in Kenya are reporting that they have little or no food left, no access to clean water, and sanitation problems which have prompted fears of a cholera outbreak.

WFP has food stocks until mid-December in the northern Dadaab refugee camps, where 160,000 Somalis have sought shelter from the conflict and drought in their own country, but 100,000 of them have been displaced and have trouble feeding themselves because cooking pots were lost while firewood is scarce. In response, WFP is providing high-energy biscuits as a stop-gap measure.

 

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