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A Somali man looks out of his flooded shelter after heavy rain in Mogadishu A Somali man looks out of his flooded shelter after heavy rain in Mogadishu 

Church leaders appeal for aid as flooding kills dozens in East Africa

Vast swaths of territory are under water in the Horn of Africa, as a local bishop and Caritas agency send out a cry for help.

By Devin Watkins

Heavy rainfall has affected portions of Kenya, South Sudan, and Somalia, causing widespread flooding and destruction.

Flash floods killed at least 29 people in Kenya last week, according to a government minister.

Kenya

Nearly 12,000 people have been displaced, especially in the northern and eastern parts of the country. The agriculture industry was also hard hit, with over 10,000 livestock animals killed by the flooding.

One weather forecaster told local media that more rain fell in 10 days than is normally recorded over the whole rainy season, in one area near the border with Ethiopia.

Caritas Kenya has begun an appeal for food, first aid supplies, and a collection of funds to distribute to those in need.

South Sudan

Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok, of Malakal, is calling on South Sudan’s government to declare a state of national disaster to deal with massive flooding.

He said nearly 283,000 square kilometers of his diocese is under water, according to Fides news agency.

Rains have devastated vast areas of South Sudan since July, according to a recent United Nations report.

The wet weather has made the humanitarian situation worse in 32 counties, where more than 3 million people were already in need of assistance.

Somalia

In Somalia, more than 182,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to flooding.

The UN says most of those affected are from the central town of Beledweyne, where 3 people drowned last week.

Another 10 people died on Monday when a rescue boat capsized, leaving up to 20 others missing.

Wet weather continues

Forecasters say East Africa’s rainy season, which runs from October to December, is likely to be unusually wet this year.

Increased water temperatures in the Indian Ocean is leading to higher rates of evaporation, a process known as Indian Ocean Dipole. That atmospheric humidity is then dumped inland as rainfall.

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29 October 2019, 15:17