Death toll from Kenya floods climbs to 277

Students attend a class at a school in the Mathare slums

in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 13, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

The death toll from devastating floods and landslides in Kenya, triggered by heavy rains, has risen to 277, according to a government announcement.

The update came as schools across the nation cautiously resumed classes for the second term, following a two-week delay due to the adverse weather conditions.

"Some of the schools that have been adversely affected by the heavy rains and flooding will have their opening delayed as the national and county multi-agency teams ensure that repairs are done to create a safe environment for students to resume learning," said the Ministry of Interior and National Administration in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Sunny intervals are forecast for most regions of the country over the coming week, interspersed with occasional rainfall and thunderstorms across 37 counties.

Flooding is expected in low-lying areas, riparian areas and urban areas while landslides and mudslides may occur in areas with steep slopes, escarpments and ravines, the ministry said.

Health concerns are escalating amid the crisis, with 53 cholera cases reported so far.

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross, is trying to control cholera and other waterborne diseases in Tana River and Marsabit Counties.

On May 10, the World Health Organization warned of a possible surge in food-borne diseases in Kenya due to the ongoing flood crisis.

The WHO advised those affected by floods to ensure food safety through thorough cooking, proper storage and enhanced personal hygiene practices.