Rift Valley rains

Heavy and steady seasonal rains have caused severe flooding across parts of eastern Africa.

    Zebras happily grazing away in the foreground. The Kenyan capital, Nairobi provides the backdrop[Getty]

    Seasonal rains have caused severe flooding across parts of the East African Rift Valley in recent days. Many countries have been affected here including Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. It is likely that flooding will be a problem across this part of the continent for many weeks to come.

    On Sunday evening, members of a youth group from Nairobi were caught in flash floods as they went on a nature walk in a gorge at Hells Gate National Park in Naivasha to the northwest of the capital. Seven people are now known to have died.

    Nairobi recorded 24mm of rain on Sunday and severe storms are likely to remain in the forecast for some time to come. April is the wettest month with an average rainfall total of 211mm.

    Meanwhile, Mwanza in Tanzania which lie on the shores of Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake, saw 92mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 0600GMT on Sunday.

    Further east, torrential downpours  have also been causing flooding in Rwanda. Ironically, the rains here have been so intense that they have shut down the Kigali water supply.

    Heavy rains and damage to pipes by road construction workers are being blamed for intermittent supplies that have left Kigali City with no water for a week. Likewise, Gikonda and Nyamirambo have also lost the use of clean water for the last six or seven days.

    Similarly, the Nzove water plant which depends on underground water has been badly affected. Most of its 32 water pumps are currently immersed in mud.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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