Kenya postpones reopening of schools as flood-related deaths near 100

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Kenya has postponed the reopening of its schools by one week due to ongoing flooding caused by heavy rains, as flood-related deaths since mid-March in the East African country neared 100. Some schools remained “adversely affected” by the flooding, the Education Ministry said Sunday night. Local media reported that more than 100 schools were flooded, some with collapsed walls and roofs blown away. All schools were set to reopen on Monday but will now open on May 6.

Ninety-three people have died in the flooding in Kenya and that number is expected to rise after a boat capsized in northern Garissa county on Sunday night. The Kenyan Red Cross said it had rescued 23 people from the boat, but more than a dozen people were still missing. Heavy rains have been pounding the country since mid-March and the Meteorology Department has warned of more rainfall.

The East African region is experiencing flooding due to the heavy rains, and 155 people have reportedly died in Tanzania while more than 200,000 people are affected in neighboring Burundi. The highest number of deaths in Kenya have been reported in the capital, Nairobi, according to police records. Kenya’s main airport was flooded on Saturday, forcing some flights to be diverted, as videos of a flooded runway, terminals and cargo section were shared online.

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The airport’s manager, Henry Kegoye, said the flooding was from ongoing refurbishment work that was due to be completed in June. Heavy rains had overwhelmed a temporary drainage system set up by the contractor. More than 200,000 people across the country have been affected by the floods, with houses in flood-prone areas submerged and people seeking refuge in schools. President William Ruto had instructed the National Youth Service to provide land for use as a temporary camp for those affected.