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Photo by David Cashbaugh on Unsplash
Photo by David Cashbaugh on Unsplash
World News

Calls for the Church to take 'tangible' action following fatal floods in Kenya

by Lydia Davies

Since March, devastating floods and landslides have claimed the lives of 181 people in Kenya, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of thousands, according to updates from the government and Red Cross Kenya on Wednesday.

The situation is reported to be similarly dire in neighbouring Tanzania and Burundi, where many have also perished.

The region has seen significant destruction due to relentless rain and flooding, surpassing the fatalities recorded during last year's El Niño-induced floods. Homes, infrastructure, and roads have been severely damaged or destroyed.

In Mai Mahiu, a central Kenyan town, flash floods resulted in at least 48 deaths on Monday alone. By Wednesday, rescuers had retrieved two more bodies from the rubble, as reported by Felix Maiyo, Kenya Red Cross South Rift Regional Manager.

Gershon Mwakazi, the director of disaster management for World Vision Kenya, told Premier Christian News that the floods had affected many different sectors of Kenyan society: "Some of the households which are affected are especially the slums; they are renting houses but some own their houses and the schools; they have no books. The books got wet and damaged."

He is calling for the Church to pray "for the people affected" but also called for people to respond "tangibly". He said "I say that prayer cannot be a substitute for responsible action."

Tourists stranded in camps near Narok, 215 km from Nairobi, are also receiving assistance from the Kenya Red Cross.

Pope Francis expressed his sympathy for the affected Kenyans during a general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday. He said: "I wish to express to the people of Kenya my spiritual closeness at this time as severe flooding has tragically taken the lives of many of our brothers and sisters, injured others, and caused widespread destruction."

The White House has also extended condolences to the families of the victims and highlighted contributions to relief efforts through the US Agency for International Development.


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