Heavy rains have brought flooding to Nairobi and other areas of Kenya since the end of October. These excessive rains are due to the effects of El Niño.
Kenyans know El Niño. It’s a term that reminds many of the devastation experienced by much of East Africa during the last major El Niño event in 1997-98. During that El Niño the roads turned to rivers, infrastructure was destroyed, cholera became rampant, thousands of people were internally displaced, and many were killed.
Perhaps this is why Kenya has been a leader in using the 2015 El Niño forecasts to prepare for the flooding. For example, the government has been encouraging residents of cities to clear any debris blocking drains, dig trenches around their homes, and in some cases actually evacuate.
After a relatively dry October, November has brought flooding across many parts of the country and those preparedness actions are now being tested.
The BRACED programme has one project in Kenya, managed by a consortium led by Mercy Corps. The project is working in northern Kenya to enhance the capacities of vulnerable households and communities to deal with climate shocks and stresses. In northern Kenya, these shocks and stresses include drought, increased aridity, flooding and flash floods, soil erosion, slashing and burning and massive deforestation, all leading to environmental degradation that reduces the local resource-base for viable livelihoods.
The project is focusing on three areas, Natural Resource Management and Governance, Market Systems Development and Gender Mainstreaming.
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