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Sat. May 18th, 2024

Kenyan President William Ruto has taken decisive action in the face of a mounting crisis, convening a special cabinet meeting on Tuesday to address the devastating floods that have ravaged the nation. The meeting, aimed at formulating urgent measures to tackle the unfolding disaster, comes in the wake of staggering casualties, with nearly 170 lives lost and 185,000 individuals displaced since the onset of heavy rains in March.

The calamitous situation has been exacerbated by unusually intense monsoon rains, compounded by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which have wreaked havoc across the East African nation. Particularly alarming was a catastrophic incident in the Rift Valley, where nearly 50 villagers perished as a makeshift dam ruptured before dawn on Monday, unleashing a torrent of water and mud that obliterated everything in its path.

With the death toll climbing and countless lives at risk, President Ruto underscored the gravity of the situation during a summit of African leaders and the World Bank in Nairobi. He pledged governmental action, emphasizing the imperative of providing aid and support to those affected by the ravages of climate change-induced disasters such as floods and mudslides.

The devastation wrought by the Rift Valley deluge has been profound, with a road severed, homes and vehicles swept away, and entire communities left reeling. The village of Kamuchiri in Nakuru county bore the brunt of the onslaught, recording 47 fatalities and leaving scores of individuals hospitalized. As rescue efforts intensify, fears persist that the death toll could rise further, with dozens reported missing.

Criticism has been leveled at the government by opposition figures and advocacy groups, who decry its perceived lack of preparedness and sluggish response despite prior weather warnings. Opposition leader Raila Odinga lamented the absence of preemptive measures to mitigate the impact of the extreme weather, calling attention to the urgent need for comprehensive disaster preparedness strategies.

Amidst the unfolding tragedy, expressions of solidarity and condolences have poured in from the international community, with African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat extending support to the affected families. However, the scope of the crisis extends beyond Kenya’s borders, with neighboring Tanzania and Ethiopia also grappling with the devastating consequences of flooding and landslides, underscoring the regional scale of the catastrophe.

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