Africa: Ghana Floods, Kenya Floods and Africa Hazards Outlook

[Ghana]

* Ghana: Floods - Apr 2013 [ReliefWeb; 18 April 2013]

Overview:

Severe rainstorms in Ghana's Northern and Volta regions started in the first week of March 2013 and continued for close to two weeks. The ensuing floods resulted in the displacement of populations, loss of property and farm produce. Between 23,000 and 25,000 people have been affected. The Government declared the affected areas a disaster zone. On 8 Apr, severe rainstorms caused further flooding and the destruction of property and farmlands in Agona East district in the Central region, affecting at least 1,000 people. While the rainy season begins in March, heavy rains usually only start in May. (IFRC, 18 Apr 2013)

* Severe rain storm in Northern Ghana [ReliefWeb; 3 April 2013]

1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

A severe rainstorm in Northern Ghana in the last two weeks of March 2013, has caused destruction and displacement. The affected districts include Gushegu, Yendi Municipal, Savelugu/Nanton, Saboba, Zabzugu, Tatale/Sanguli, Tamale Metropolis, Moin, Walewale and Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo districts. In all, about 25,000 people have been affected and are currently sheltering with friends and relatives.

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[Kenya]

* Floods related incidents from March - May 2013 long rains [ReliefWeb; 10 April 2013]

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HIGHLIGHTS

• Depressed and poorly distributed rainfall is expected over most parts of the country during March-May 2013 “Long-Rains” Season. This is likely to be more pronounced in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). 

• The western and central counties including Nairobi as well as the Coastal strip are likely to experience enhanced rainfall. 

• Most of the rainfall in the country is expected during the peak month of April except over the Coastal strip Where the peak is expected during the month of May.

• During January and February 2013, slightly cooler than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were present over the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. Neutral conditions were observed over western Equatorial Indian Ocean while warmer than average SSTs prevailed over eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean

FORECAST FOR MARCH-APRIL-MAY (MAM) 2013 “LONG RAINS” SEASON

March to May is a major rainfall season in most parts of the country. Depicts the Long Term Mean rainfall patterns for March-April-May seasonal rainfall. The figure shows that the highest rainfall amounts of over 300mm are recorded over Western, Central, Coastal strip and parts of northern Kenya (Marsabit, Moyale). The forecast for March to May 2013 is based on the prevailing and expected Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies (SSTAs) over the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans as well as other Synoptic, Mesoscale and local factors that affect the climate of Kenya. These factors were assessed using various tools including ocean-atmosphere models, statistical models, satellite derived information and expert interpretation. The prevailing slightly cool Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the western Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to the East African Coast) coupled with very warmSSTs in the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to Australia) were also considered. This constitutes a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) that is not favorable for good seasonal rainfall over most parts of the country and more so the eastern sector.The predicted Onsets, Cessation and distribution of rainfall were derived from statistical analysis of past years, which exhibited similar characteristics to the current year (i.e. analogue year). For the current season, the analogue years were found to be 2001 and 1973

* Kenya: Flash Flooding Update (19th March to 11 April 2013)

At least 35 people have died and 20,000 people displaced from their homes as a result of recent flash flooding across Kenya. The most affected areas are in the western and coastal regions where a combination of heavy rains and inadequate flood mitigation measures have destroyed homes, roads, and educational facilities. The Kenya Red Cross Society and other humanitarian organisations have been responding in the affected areas.

* Kenya floods claims 63 lives in past month: government [ReliefWeb; 18 April 2013]

NAIROBI, April 18, 2013 (AFP) - Flooding in Kenya after heavy seasonal rains has claimed 63 lives and forced tens of thousands from their homes in the past month, Vice-President William Ruto said Thursday.

"As at now, 63 people have been killed," Ruto told reporters, watching as five tonnes of food and other essential items were prepared to be flown to affected areas at a military airbase in the capital Nairobi.

"The government has directed the military to urgently evacuate people marooned by floods," he added, noting that the northeastern regions of Merti and Garbatulla were particularly badly affected.

Dozens of people die every year during Kenya's rainy season, which usually lasts from March to May.

Kenya's army said it had flown aid deliveries to the central town of Isiolo and despatched helicopters to drop food in northeastern areas where the flooding has made roads impassable.

Areas across Kenya have been affected as the heavy rains have damaged roads and property.

On Wednesday, two children were killed by a landslide caused by the rains in Kenya's Rift Valley, while helicopters were used to rescue more than 40 people marooned by floods in the eastern Garissa region.

Eight passengers were swept away as they travelled on a truck to the northern town of Marsabit earlier this month.

"The government will mobilise all the available resources to assist the affected persons," Ruto added.

Parts of Kenya suffered from extreme drought in 2011 -- like the wider Horn of Africa region, including parts of war-torn southern Somalia where famine was declared -- and farmers are welcoming the heavy rains.

However, traders are also struggling because of the impassable roads.

"All my goods will go to waste," said truck driver Sokotei Balesa, stuck in Isiolo with a load of vegetables. "I am trying to find a trader to buy them."

Parts of southern Somalia have also been affected, with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warning that floods have hampered aid deliveries.

Several thousand people have been forced from their homes in areas along southern Somalia's Shabelle river, with five children reportedly killed in recent weeks, the United Nations added.

However, the heavy rains could also "bode well for the harvest", OCHA noted.

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Climate Prediction Center’s Africa Hazards Outlook For USAID / FEWS... [ReliefWeb; 17 April 2013]

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1) Severe Drought: Since the beginning of the year, poorly distributed and significantly below average seasonal rainfall has led to deteriorating ground conditions, stressed vegetation and negatively impacted cropping activities and livestock throughout many parts of southwestern Africa. Many local areas in Angola and Namibia have experienced less than half of their normal rainfall accumulation since January.

2) Drought: Since the beginning of February, pronounced dry spells and poorly distributed seasonal rainfall have affected parts of the Caprivi Strip region, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. With no opportunity for recovery as the southern Africa monsoon is ending, this is expected to negatively impact cropping activities across the region.

3) Drought: After above-average precipitation was received in January, seasonal rainfall has ceased since mid-February leading to significant ground moisture deficits in northern Mozambique.

4) Abnormal Dryness: Since the beginning of March, enhanced rainfall in the Greater Horn has not been distributed over the northern and western portions of Ethiopia. As a result, early to mid-season moisture deficits are developing and are likely to negatively impact cropping activities throughout the “Belg” producing areas of the country.

5) Flooding: Several consecutive weeks of significantly enhanced precipitation has led to localized floods, inundation along the Tana River, thousands of displaced people, and fatalities throughout many local areas of Kenya. Heavy rains have also led to floods, landslides, damage to infrastructure, and crop losses across parts of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. The potential for locally torrential rainfall across Kenya and northwestern Tanzania is expected to further saturate ground conditions and possibly lead to additional flooding during the upcoming outlook period.

6) Flooding: Significantly heavy rainfall during the last two weeks has led to flooding, damaged crops, and the displacement of thousands of people along the Shabelle River. A slight reduction of rains is expected with average to locally above average rainfall forecast over eastern Ethiopia and southern Somalia during the next seven days.

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Comment by Kojima on May 12, 2013 at 1:18pm

East Africa Seasonal Monitor May 11, 2013 [ReliefWeb; 12 May 2013]

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EAST AFRICA Seasonal Monitor May 11, 2013

Widespread and well above-average amounts of March to May rains fell in East Africa

KEY MESSAGES

• The March to May rainy season has, so far, been characterized by widespread and well above-average amounts of rains in most parts of East Africa. These rains have remained particularly above average, up to over 200 percent above average, over southern and central Somalia, eastern and parts of southern Ethiopia, northern and western Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya. They have been near normal in Uganda. As a result of heavy rain, floods have occured in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, and eastern Ethiopia.

• Total rainfall has continued to be below average in the northern, central, and western parts of Ethiopia. In the Belg-producing areas of eastern Amhara and southern Tigray, planted area is below normal, and crops are performing poorly due to moisture stress in March and April.

SEASONAL PROGRESS

The March to May rains are important rains in both cropping and livestock- producing areas in East Africa, accounting for up to 80 percent of total annual rainfall in some areas. The March to May season, has so far, been characterized by widespread and well above-average rains in most of the receiving areas. These rains have been particularly above average, by over 200 percent of the 1983 to 2011 mean in Somalia. They’ve also been well above average in eastern and parts of southern Ethiopia, northern and western Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya, while being near normal in Uganda. Floods in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, and eastern Ethiopia have occurred.

Floods were reported at the end of March and in early April along the Shabelle and Juba Rivers in Somalia and Ethiopia, following high amount of rainfall in the river cathments in the highlands in Ethiopia. The floods have caused loss of property and temporary displacement of people in parts of Shabelle (formerly Gode) Zone of Ethiopia. Heavy rains at the beginning of May caused the banks of the Nyamwamba River in Uganda to burst, resulting in flooding in Kasese District. It is reported that more than 19,000 people were affected. Floods were also reported in the western, central, and coastal areas of Kenya and between 30,000 and 35,000 people were affected. In Rwanda, landslides were reported in April in Kamonyi, Nyamagabe, and Rutsiro Districts following heavy rains. During both March and April, heavy rainfall destroyed about 700 hectares (ha) of crops in Rwanda. Dagamaged houses and loss of life and property was also reported. With heavy rainfall in late April, there is continued risk of flooding in central and southern Somalia as well as in the Lake Victoria basin in Uganda.

Apart from flooding, the overall impact of the rains has largely been beneficial for both crops and pastoral conditions. An exception to the overall favorable condition of crops is found in the Belg- producing parts of eastern Amhara and southern Tigray Regions in Ethiopia, where performance of the rains has been below average so far. Planted area is lower than usual, and some of the crops are suffering from moisture stress due to below average rainfall in March and April. In other Belg-producing areas, despite the delay in the onset of rains by three to four weeks, total rainfall and crop conditions had become near normal by late April. This has generally been the case in central and eastern Oromia and in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region(SNNPR) of Ethiopia.

In Somalia, planted crops are well established and are generally healthy in most agropastoral zones of the south. However, pests in Bay Region ate early stage crops, and replanting has taken place.In Kenya, apart from a few areas with slightly below average rainfall in the southeastern lowlands and southern coastal strip, normal to above normal rains were received through the country, which has led to normal development of crops. Early maturing vegetables are ready for household consumption. In the coastal mixed farming areas of Kwale, Kilifi, and Lamu, planting and land preparation are still underway. In Tanzania, the Msimu crops in the southern, unimodal areas are reaching maturity while Masika crops in the northern and western bimodal areas are at late vegetative to tasseling stages. In Uganda, land preparation and planting activities have been completed for most first season staple crops. Nearly half of planted crops are at vegetative or flowering stages. In Rwanda, Season B crops are at early stages of development up to the flowering stage. Above average rains in March across Burundi were not beneficial for crops at their early stage of development, and these rains may have already reduced yields by damaging young crops.

Pasture and water availability has substianitally improved since the start of the rains in March in the pastoral areas, including most of Somalia, northeastern Kenya, most of Djibouti, and Afar, Somali Region, and lowland areas of Oromia Region in Ethiopia. Southeastern parts of Djibouti and the northern regions of Sool, Sanag, and Bari in Somalia still have unseasonably poor pasture and water availability.

Comment by Kojima on May 11, 2013 at 3:44am

Ethiopia: Floods - Apr 2013 [ReliefWeb]

Heavy rains in several areas across Ethiopia caused flooding starting in mid-April 2013. As of 22 Apr, more than 9,000 households were affected in the Somali region and more than 1,300 households in the Oromia region and SNNPR. The floods caused displacement, damage to infrastructures and loss of livelihoods, including houses, water schemes, livestock, farmlands and food stocks. (OCHA, 22 Apr 2013)

Comment by Kojima on May 11, 2013 at 3:44am

Somalia: Floods - Apr 2013 [ReliefWeb]

Several parts of Somalia - especially the south - have been affected by flooding following heavy rains across Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands starting with the beginning of the rainy season in April 2013. Flash floods in Wanlaweyn district in Lower Shabelle led to loss of property, damage to infrastructure and displacement of people. Xudun district (Sool) and Dharoor valley (Sanaag) also experienced flooding. In Cabudwaq (Galgadud) flooding displaced thousands of people. (OCHA, 26 Apr 2013)

Comment by Kojima on May 11, 2013 at 3:34am

Uganda: Kasese Floods - May 2013

Uganda: Floods (as of 7 May 2013) - Location Map [ReliefWeb]

1) Four killed in Kasese floods, scores stranded [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 2 May 2013 / NewVision; 2 May 2013]

A woman wading a cross a flooded road

2) Floods: Ecweru dashes to Kasese [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 2 May 2013 / NewVision; 3 May 2013]

A home in Bwaise submerged by water following a heavy down pour. Photo by Tony Rujuta

3) Kasese floods: River Nyamwamba banks burst again, camp set up for d... [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 6 May 2013 / NewVision; 6 May 2013]

4) Uganda Red Cross, 7 May 201319,161 affected by Kasese floods, Red Cross seeks 1.8bn [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 7 May 2013 / Uganda Red Cross Society; 7 May 2013]

Heavy rains at the beginning of May 2013 caused the banks of the Nyamwamba river to burst, which resulted in flooding in Western Uganda's Kasese district. As of 7 May, more than 19,000 people were affected. Over 3,100 people sought shelter at the Kasese Primary School. 

5) Kasese floods: Affected population now at 25,445 [ReliefWeb; 9 May 2013]

6) Floods ravage western Uganda, BWA sends aid [ReliefWeb; 9 May 2013]

7) Kasese floods subside – Red Cross [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 10 May 2013 / NewVision; 10 May 2013]

Floods that have been ravaging various parts of Kasese district are subsiding, according to Uganda Red Cross.

The floods have slightly gone down but the effects remain enormous across the district,” the Uganda Red Cross Kasese branch manager, Everest Habai, said.

Habai said the floods had displaced thousands of people after almost 1,000 homesteads were destroyed. 

The displaced are now living in four camps where sanitation facilities are in a deplorable state.

The camps are located Kasese Primary School in Kasese Municipality, Bugoye and Nkaiga primary schools in the sub-counties of Bugoye, Maliba and Karusandara respectively.

The District Disease Surveillance Focal Person, Sam Kabinga Muhindo, expressed fear of possible disease outbreaks in the district since latrines in the affected areas had been washed away.

“In Maliba sub-county alone, 541 pit latrines were washed away in Kakindo village and in the camps at the Kasese and Bugoye primary school the latrines were filling up,” Kabinga said.

According to a district disaster rapid assessment report, the floods destroyed 200  latrines in all parishes of Nyamwamba Division in Kasese Municipality.

The floods also destroyed pipes that supply water to Ibanda, (Bugoye sub-county),  blocked the water supply system in Kasese municipality and washed away the  gravity flow scheme that supplies Musasa trading centre in Kyondo sub-county.

Also destroyed were 25 bridges, thousands of acres of food  and cash crops, seven roads, 960 homesteads and various businesses.

Comment by Kojima on May 11, 2013 at 2:23am

Kenya: Floods Update (as at 9 May 2013)  [ReliefWeb; 9 May 2013]

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Cumulatively, an estimated 100,980 people have been affected and 93 deaths recorded since the onset of the rains in March, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS). Of these, over 87,000 people have been displaced.

Comment by Kojima on April 24, 2013 at 12:22pm

Two more die in landslides [Daily Nation; 23 April 2013]

[Kenya]

The rains havoc continued across the country on Tuesday with two people killed in landslides in Narok and Nyandarua counties.

And more families were left homeless in Nakuru after their houses were destroyed in a trail of destruction.

In Narok North District, a four-year-old boy died from injuries he sustained in a landslide at Sintakara Village.

Area Kenya Red Cross coordinator Ali Juma said the boy’s three relatives were seriously injured and were admitted to Narok District Hospital.

The tragedy came four days after a similar one claimed the lives of two boys in Naibor-Ajijik.

A three-month-old baby was buried alive by mudslide at Gathirika Village in Kipipiri District, Nyandarua County. The rains have continued on a daily basis for the last two weeks.

Baby buried alive

The baby, neighbours said, was sleeping in the house as the mother worked in the shamba.

Area police boss Samson Munyao confirmed the incident and called on the residents to be cautious.

“I appeal to residents to relocate from such steep and high places until the rains subside. This way, we will be able to curb unnecessary deaths,” Mr Munyao advised.

And in Miti Mingi, Nakuru, more than 20 families were yesterday counting the cost of the devastating rains that washed away their houses and crops.

Their livestock was swept away by subsequent floods.

“This is a lowland area and all the water from Mau Narok, Sururu and Kianjoya drains here. But for the last 30 years, we have never witnessed such rains,” area chief Joseph  Ngige told the Nation.

There were no deaths. One of the victims, Mr Isaya Iraya, 55, said his three houses were submerged in water.

The flash floods also left his two-and-half acre farm bare, having swept away all the crops.

Meanwhile, a farmers’ organisation on Tuesday raised the red alert over likely food shortage later in the year if the rains pounding most parts of the country did not subside.

The rains, Kenya Federation of Agricultural Producers (Kenfap) said, had adversely affected farming by disrupting farmers’ calendar.

Comment by Kojima on April 22, 2013 at 3:49am

* 1, 000 displaced by floods in Kisii [The Star; 20 April 2013]

AS rains continue to cause havoc in the country, more than 1,000 people in Kisii have fled their homes due landslides and flooding. The affected people from Bogisero and Kabero wards have been sleeping outside for the last three days. A visit to Bogisero by the Star, established that most families vacated to safer grounds.

“We fear there will be an outbreak of disease if the situation continues. We also fear for the health of our children,” Kemunto, a villager, said. Gucha South DC Geof- frey Mayama and Bogisero county representative Edward Otuke said many more families will be forced to vacate their homes if the rains continue. “Families have fled their homes to safer areas. We are appealing for humani- tarian help,” Mayama said. He added that last year more than 600 people were affected by landslides.

* Breaking: Landslides Kill 9 In Rwanda [Chimpreports.com;19 April 2013]

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has Friday called upon families living in areas demarcated as “high risk zones” to avoid loss of lives caused by landslides.

For the last 24 hours alone, landslides caused by heavy downpour claimed lives of nine people in different parts of the country, including a family of five in Kiyonzwe Cell, Mutuntu Sector in Karongi District.

The family perished when the house they were in was destroyed by landslides.

In a statement seen by Chimpreports, RNP says in Twabugezi Cell, Murunda Sector in Rutsiro District, landslides also destroyed a house killing a man and his two children aged 11 and 13 years.

A number of houses and crops were also destroyed. Most of those affected were residing in risky zones.

“The government and districts in particular allocated areas where families living in high risks areas can relocate to. Some families have honoured this call while others still reside in such dangerous areas,” the statement read in part, adding, “Lives of those still living in these areas are at risk.”

“The public are also considered as the country’s wealth and loss of any life means loss of manpower and consequently wealth. Rwanda National Police, therefore, appeals to those families that still live in the demarcated wetlands, hilly or other areas considered risky, abide by the country’s safety programmes, to relocate to safe zones.”

Comment by Kojima on April 19, 2013 at 10:13am

Thank you, Andrey Eroshin

* Floods kill at least nine in Angolan capital [Reuters; 7 April 2013]

(Reuters) - Floods in the Angolan capital, Luanda, have killed at least nine people And left four missing, the state news agency Angop reported on Sunday, citing a local government official.

The official told Angop the deaths were caused by destruction to houses during heavy rain on Saturday. He said some of the victims were children.

The affected areas were mostly in the outskirts of Luanda, including in Kilamba Kiaxi, the site of a showcase public housing development with thousands of apartments built by Chinese firms two years ago.

The floods inundated hundreds of homes, causing vast material damage, with 500 houses affected in the Samba and Coreia suburbs alone, Angop said.

A road near Luanda's port had to be closed due to a landslide caused by the rains, it said.

Angola, which is Africa's No 2. oil producer, is rebuilding infrastructure that was destroyed by a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

The conflict led to millions of people leaving the interior of the country to seek safety in Luanda. As a result, the capital has an estimated population of 5 million people, many of whom live in shanty towns called musseques.

(Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Bill Trott)

[Related Stories]

* Angola's Chinese-built ghost town [BBC News: 2 July 2012]

* Why has China Built a Ghost Town in Africa?  Chinese Elite Preparin... [Posted by lee viorel on July 4, 2012]

Comment by Andrey Eroshin on April 19, 2013 at 9:16am

08.04.13. At least nine people die in Angola's capital, Luanda, after weekend floods
http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22063077

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