NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan officials said Friday that at least 15 people have drowned and scores of families have been displaced across the East African nation during two days of heavy rainfall that caused flooding in urban and rural areas.
The deaths happened as flood and river waters swept through Kenyan towns that had experienced drought months earlier, officials said. Kenya declared the drought a national disaster that put thousands of people at risk of starvation last year.
Four of those killed were in a truck carrying charcoal in Kitui County that was swept away by the flooded River Enziu. Mwingi East Police Chief Paul Munene said four of the truck’s eight occupants were rescued before the truck was engulfed with water.
The deluge also submerged vehicles in Nairobi’s affluent neighborhoods and flooded middle class areas. Porters made a booming business carrying commuters to work on their backs.
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Clogged storm drains in Nairobi and other parts of Kenya are a perennial problem during the typically long rainy season. Nairobi Governor Gideon Mbuvi blamed his predecessor’s administration for diverting funds meant to repair the capital’s drainage system.
Metrological Director Peter Ambenje said the heavy rains are expected to continue for another five days.