Monday, March 8, 2010

Lucky Those British Choppers Happened to be in Kenya

Apparently some tourists were rescued by helicopter when there was flash flooding in the Samburu area. The British Army and Airforce helicopters just happened to be in the area because they 'train' there. It's lucky they were able to rescue the people in the tourist areas. None of the tourists were reported as having any injuries. An elephant research centre was not so lucky. The BBC article doesn't mention if there were any non-Britons or non-tourists involved.

In other areas, six people are reported to have been drowned and five others are missing. The article doesn't say if there happened to be any British helicopters there. Livestock, homes and properties have been destroyed in many areas, including Samburu. Many people have been displaced. Interestingly, Kenyan helicopters were also involved in the airlifting of tourists in Samburu. Perhaps it's easier to spot white faces against the muddy background.

One of the deaths was in Mogotio, where flooding a couple of months ago displaced several hundred, many of whom are still living in tents. Another person died and one is missing just outside Nakuru town, in Kaptembwa. Three people were killed by flooding further North. While many have already been displaced in Western province, many more are threatened with flooding as rivers are close to bursting their banks. Exact figures are unclear but the number is said to be 'below 2000'. But thankfully the 600 tourists (although this number includes tourist lodge staff) said to be affected are all OK, having lost only their luggage.

Many areas are being warned to prepare for more flooding and other hazards that come with the very wet conditions, such as cholera, malaria and other water related diseases. Farmers have been holding off sowing crops in many areas because the rain has been too heavy and those who have planted are in danger of losing their crops. Maize seeds are being distributed in some areas, although this is unlikely to benefit many people for some time. Let's hope those British helicopters and emergency services will still be available if and when disaster strikes.



Claire said...

Glad you could pass on the great news about those tourists! Keep up the good work!

Simon said...

Thanks Claire, I was happy too.

Simon said...

Don't tell the BBC but about 10,000 people are thought to have been affected. Don't worry, they were just Kenyans, not tourists: