Kenyans are all too familiar with floods. The rainy seasons are almost always accompanied by flooding in both rural and urban areas of Kenya. Despite efforts to work with communities to mitigate the effects of potential flooding, nongovernmental organizations and humanitarian agencies are always prepared to respond.
One of the most discussed topics last year was the El Nino phenomenon. Kenyans could easily remember the El Nino rains of 1997, which resulted in 300 deaths, damages worth $670 million and $236 million to infrastructure and the agricultural sector respectively.
The most recent El Nino, which commenced in October 2015 and lasted until April 2016, saw a country more prepared with early warning and mitigation efforts in the form of community contingency plans, household evacuations and movements to higher ground. Nevertheless, the damage caused by the heavy rains was still felt by communities, especially in western and coastal regions of Kenya, where close to 35,000 households were affected.