Kenya declares national day of mourning for hundreds killed in floods

May 8, 2024 by No Comments

Kenya’s President William Ruto has declared this coming Friday a public holiday to mourn the 238 people who have died. The president said on Wednesday that the day will be observed with national tree planting activities to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Kenya, along with other parts of East Africa, has been overwhelmed by floods. More than 235,000 people have been displaced and are living in dozens of camps. President Ruto also announced the reopening of schools, after a two-week delay due to heavy rains that have destroyed hundreds of schools. The government has said more than 1,000 schools were affected by the floods and has set aside funds for renovations. The meteorology department in its daily weather forecast has continued to predict moderate to heavy rainfall in most parts of the country. The government is in the process of forcefully evacuating people living in flood-prone areas and those near rivers and dams as water levels in the country’s major hydroelectric dams rise to “historic levels”. This week, the government bulldozed houses in the informal settlements of Mathare and Mukuru in the capital Nairobi and the president promised evicted families the equivalent of $75 to relocate after a deadline passed to evacuate amid deadly rains.