The flood disaster in Kenya is particularly severe in the slums of Nairobi, the capital. | Photo courtesy of Tzu Chi Foundation | Kenya

Heavy rains from late April to early May caused severe flooding in Kenya, turning nearly 90% of the country into disaster zones. Out of 47 counties, 43 were affected by the floods. As of May 29, the floods had claimed 315 lives, displaced 290,000 people, and severely impacted half a million residents. Currently, 189 shelters have been set up to accommodate those affected. Many displaced individuals have moved into tents, relying heavily on relief supplies as their homes and belongings were swept away by the floods.

Providing Essential Supplies to Thousands of Families

Seventy-nine-year-old Beatrice, who single-handedly cares for her three grandchildren, saw her maize field, her main source of livelihood, destroyed by the floods. Similarly, 68-year-old Teresa lost everything she owned. In response, the Tzu Chi Foundation is collaborating with the Love Binti Association, the Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS)-Kenya, and the Kenya Red Cross Society to carry out relief operations targeting severely affected regions including the slums of Nairobi, Kisumu County, Tana River County, Garissa County, Baringo, Benjara, and Kwale.

Working with Love Binti Association, aid distributions in Kwale were completed on May 30 and 31, benefiting 1,000 families and a total of 6,319 individuals. Each family received 59 kilograms of food supplies including maize flour, oil, and sugar, as well as hygiene products, blankets, and mosquito nets.

Malaria Risk Heightens as Floodwaters Persist

Over a month later, some areas in Kenya still remain flooded, forcing residents to wade through water to get around. | Photo courtesy of Love Binti Association | Kenya

More than a month after the initial flooding, water levels in parts of Kenya, such as the western region of Benjar, remain high. The stagnant water has led to an increase in mosquito populations, raising the risk of malaria.

The collaborative team has visited four refugee camps in the Benjara region and the Maasai community in southern Amboseli. Tzu Chi, in partnership with CADIS-Kenya conducted distributions in three disaster-affected areas. The aid provided includes food packages, daily necessities, women's sanitary products, living allowances, medical services, housing repairs, seeds, and agricultural supplies. This effort is expected to benefit 1,100 households (5,500 people).

Distributing Aid in the Slums of Nairobi

On June 28, CADIS-Kenya conducted their first distribution in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The event took place at the hockey arena next to the Red Cross office just outside the slum area. This distribution benefited 50 families. The follow-up visits will be conducted for the families who received food supplies to provide ongoing support. Once these families find housing through the help of Tzu Chi, additional supplies, including mattresses and blankets, will be distributed.

The Meaning of Gratitude

Sister Nancy teaches the beneficiaries on the importance of gratitude. | Photo courtesy of Fr. Francis Maina, CADIS Kenya | Kenya | 2024/06/28

Given the current political situation in Kenya, the success of these distributions highlights the meticulous planning and dedication of CADIS-Kenya. At the distribution site, Sister Nancy spoke to the beneficiaries about the importance of gratitude. She emphasized that the Tzu Chi Foundation and its donors have made sacrifices to help them and encouraged the beneficiaries to pray for the donors. She also reminded them that everyone has something to give, even if it is just a prayer.