Hiribae Mame stood waist-deep in water outside her wrecked house in eastern Kenya, one of around 200,000 people forced to flee by weeks of floods, landslides and heavy rains.
Kenya’s Red Cross estimates at least 100 have died in the downpours since early April, a humanitarian disaster it says needs emergency funding.
“I have lost 12 chickens and four goats. We were not able to save them and I can’t access the house because the door can’t open,” said the mother-of-four in Tana River in lower Coast region.
Her youngest daughter clung to her neck, the girl’s feet just touching the water. Mattresses and wreckage floated by as handmade boats ferried people, animals and goods to safer ground.
Floods blocked major roads across central and northern Kenya and coastal areas – the route from Nairobi to Mombasa was under water last week.
Eight people died when mudslides destroyed homes as they slept in the hilly central region of Murang’a on Friday, said Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet.
Gullet said the military and police deployed helicopters for rescue missions but more efforts were needed.
Outbreaks of water-borne diseases were another concern across Kenya, he added.
“We would urge national government to declare this a national disaster so a deliberate effort can be made and resources mobilised to help the affected people,” Gullet told reporters in the capital.
“We need a national disaster management fund set up.”