NAIROBI, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is grappling with the aftermath of flash floods that intensified last week and have claimed dozens of lives while destroying critical infrastructure like roads and power lines.
The torrential rains that started in the middle of March are to blame for unprecedented flooding accompanied by displacement of thousands of people in low-lying parts of the country.
Statistics from state agencies and Kenya Red Cross indicate that more than 20 people have died as a result of flash floods while property worth millions of dollars has been destroyed.
The meteorological department has predicted the heavy downpours will peak later in April and subside in early May.
Kenya's preparedness to handle emergency disasters has been tested to the limits as raging floods cut off major road networks, destroy crops and uproot rural dwellers from their homes.
The low-lying plains in northern Kenya, the southeastern and coast regions have borne the brunt of flooding.
Likewise, counties in western Kenya neighboring Lake Victoria have in the last few days experienced heavy flooding and displacement of population.
The main highway connecting the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with the coastal city of Mombasa has been experiencing frequent gridlocks due to heavy flooding.
In the last few days, traveling to the world-famous Maasai Mara game reserve, located in northwest Kenya, has been a nightmare as flooding cut off a major road leading to the tourist site.
The transport corridor linking Nairobi to western Kenya and the greater eastern and central African region has also been affected by flash floods that have disrupted flow of public service vehicles and cargo trucks.
As heavy rains intensify in many parts of the country, relief agencies have warned of a looming disease outbreak.
Local authorities in western Kenyan counties affected by floods and displacement of populations have requested additional resources from the central government to help prevent a cholera outbreak.
Major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa have not been spared the negative impacts of flash floods, as evidenced by traffic snarl-ups and clogged sewers.
The conflict-prone northeastern part of Kenya is also experiencing raging floods that have rendered roads impassable.
Local media reported on Monday that floods continued to wreak havoc in northeastern counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, triggering a humanitarian crisis.
Heavy floods in this vast region already grappling with insecurity hindered supply of essential commodities like food, medicine and fuel.
Local administrators urged local communities to vacate their homes and move to higher grounds in order to escape the wrath of flash floods.
As Kenya grapples with negative impacts of flooding, experts have called on the government and regional and international partners to invest in durable measures like dykes and dams in the country's low-lying plains.
John Kioli, a climate expert, said enactment of a national policy on rainwater harvesting, coupled with restoration of vital ecosystems like forests and wetlands, are key to cushioning the country against destructive flash floods.