The intense rains that have been battering the nation for the past few weeks appear to have been attributed to President William Ruto.
President Ruto claims that God has answered his prayers with the abundant rainfall that has caused floods in some areas of the nation that have resulted in the loss of life and property.
Speaking at the Priesthood Fellowship Church in Kahawa West, Nairobi County, the President said that in February 2023, while the nation was suffering from a severe drought, he and his fellow Kenya Kwanza colleagues gathered at the Nyayo National Stadium and prayed for rain.
“We called for a prayer meeting at Nyayo Stadium because we wanted to pray to God for rains. Many people laughed at us, saying ‘look at them’ but this year, we have gotten miraculous rain. Is this true or not? This year, we got rains we never got in the last four years because praying to God is not a game,” said President Ruto.
His remarks comes as the country is experiencing devastating flooding caused by torrential rainfall linked to the El Nino weather pattern.
Ruto said after holding talks with various emergency response teams that the cabinet would meet on Monday to discuss recommendations on how to manage the crisis.
“Unfortunately we have lost 70 people across Kenya because of these rains and about 36,160 households have been displaced so far,” he said in an address from State House.
“Kenya is already soaked,” he said, adding that the Meteorological Department was forecasting more rains, heightening the risk of further flooding.
“Therefore we need to prepare ourselves for the emergency situation that is going to ensue,” he said.
Many roads, especially in the northern part of Kenya, have been washed away, he said, leaving trucks carrying food, medicine and fuel stranded.
He said the Kenya Defence Force had been called in to airlift supplies to marooned communities, while the government had made available 2.4 billion shillings (almost $16 million) to provide food to the displaced.
He warned there were emerging cases of cholera and malaria in some areas, and said Kenya’s security was also being affected, without elaborating.
Ruto was widely chastised after saying last month that the East African country would not experience El Nino rains, only heavy rainfall that “would not be destructive”.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Kenya Red Cross Society said they have launched an emergency appeal for around $20 million to help tackle the disaster.