The Finnish Red Cross helps the victims of flooding in Kenya

Red Cross volunteers help a person walk through flooding.
Photo: Kenian Punainen Risti

The Finnish Red Cross is allocating EUR 145,000 from its Disaster Relief Fund through the International Red Cross to an aid operation in Kenya, where thousands of people have been driven from their homes by severe floods. The support will help the Kenyan Red Cross organise tent accommodation, distribute food and cash aid and purify water.

In Kenya, thousands of people have lost their homes, while dozens have died as a result of flooding caused by strong rains. It is estimated that the floods are affecting up to 25,000 households: roads and buildings have become flooded, thousands of livestock have died and arable land has been destroyed. The rains are expected to continue, which will cause more suffering.

With the support of the International Red Cross, the Kenyan Red Cross organises tent accommodation for those who have lost their homes, distributes food and cash assistance, shares information about hygiene, provides psychosocial support and helps purify water and build sanitation facilities, for example. The Kenyan Red Cross has also evacuated and saved hundreds of people from the floods.

“Many have been forced to leave their homes because of the floods, and access to basic services has become more difficult since many hospitals and schools, for example, have been destroyed. Due to the damaged infrastructure, it is difficult to deliver emergency aid. The workers and volunteers of the Kenyan Red Cross deliver the aid by means such as boats and trucks,” says Sanna Salmela-Eckstein, Regional Manager of East Africa of the Finnish Red Cross from Nairobi.

At the moment, the Kenyan Red Cross is focused on providing immediate emergency aid.
Sanna-Salmela Eckstein

Long drought and floods have led to reduced food security

The floods that have continued since March have caused enormous destruction in Kenya, which was already plagued by the floods caused by the weather phenomenon El Niño at the end of last year and, before that, by a drought that lasted several years. The country’s food security was already very poor as a result of the prolonged drought period.

“At the moment, the Kenyan Red Cross is focused on providing immediate emergency aid. The development of the humanitarian situation will be monitored and the aid provided will be adapted according to the changing needs. Aid will be needed in the region for a long time to come,” Salmela-Eckstein says.

In addition to emergency aid, the Finnish Red Cross supports the other work of the Kenyan Red Cross, such as improving the availability of sexual and reproductive health services and – with the support of the European Union – strengthening disaster preparedness and early warning systems.

Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid