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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

6 dead in Kenya overnight flooding with 11 others missing

A boy stands outside his family home, which has been submerged by floods following prolonged heavy rains April 27, 2018 in Tana Delta, Coastal Kenya. (Andrew Kasuku / Associated Press)
By Tom Odula Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya – Six people have drowned in Kenya in overnight flooding and 11 others are missing, local authorities said Friday, the latest of dozens of deaths caused by heavy seasonal rains in recent weeks.

“We are at the scene looking for bodies,” Kajiado County police chief Kipkemboi Rop told the Associated Press after the Kandisi River overflowed its banks on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi.

The U.N. humanitarian agency in a statement on Thursday said at least 80 people have been killed and 244,000 people displaced from their homes by the heavy rains since March, the majority of them in Tana River, Kilifi and Mandera counties.

Floods from the seasonal rains hit as the East African nation was recovering from a devastating drought last year that affected half of its counties.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in a separate statement estimated that 100 have been killed over the weeks of flooding, with 29 counties affected.

“Livestock has also been affected, and crops, because most people were growing crops for the rainy season,” said the organization’s disaster management delegate, Marshal Mukuvare.

The aid group warned that the floods could trigger or worsen outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and cholera.

Despite the heavy rains, Nairobi residents are experiencing a water shortage. Many have taken to social media to question why water is still being rationed even as dams fill. The government hasn’t responded.