Statement of the Catastrophic Floods in Kenya


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), through Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, the Country Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Republic of Kenya, follows with profound concern the destructive floods affecting parts of the Republic of Kenya since 18 April, 2024. 

The African Commission expresses its sadness about the death of 200 people and the displacement of 150,000 others and sends its deep condolences to the families and communities affected by such loss of lives. 

The African Commission recalls the responsibility of states as part of its obligation under Article 1 of the African Charter to give effect to the rights enshrined in the African Charter to mobilize the necessary responses for mitigating the impact of the flooding on affected communities including the provision of assistance to the bereaved families and the internally displaced. In the light of potential continuity of heavy rains, this also requires that the state adopts protective measures including early warning and facilitation of relocation of communities in imminent risk of being affected and adoption of effective disaster management strategies.

Other relevant provisions of the African Charter that are particularly of direct concern in such cases are those on the right to life (Article 4), the right to property (Article 14), the right to economic, social, and cultural development (Article 22), and the right to a generally satisfactory environment (Article 24).

In the light of the foregoing, the African Commission calls on the Government of the Republic of Kenya to: 
1.Provide emergency relief services including food, shelter, and medical care to meet the basic needs of the displaced and affected populations.
2.Deliver assistance in rebuilding homes and infrastructure destroyed by the floods, with an emphasis on sustainable development and disaster-resilient construction.
3.Develop and strengthen infrastructure and systems that enhance the country's resilience to natural disasters and facilitate effective response mechanisms.
4.Development of policies that focus on comprehensive disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation measures and ensuring active community involvement in these processes.

The Commission also supports the efforts of the Government and people of Kenya to manage this crisis effectively and mitigate future risks in accordance with human and peoples’ rights.

Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso
Country Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Republic of Kenya
Done this 3rd of May 2024