Thousands of people, including refugees, continue to be caught up in the ongoing El Niño-triggered heavy rains and severe flooding sweeping across East Africa.

Report informs via foreign media that in Kenya, nearly 20,000 people in the Dadaab refugee camps – which host over 380,000 refugees – have been displaced due to the rising water levels. Many of them are among those who arrived in the past couple of years after fleeing severe drought in neighboring Somalia. Some 4,000 people are currently sheltering in six schools with facilities that have been extensively damaged. The others are staying with friends or relatives in other parts of the camp. Several latrines have collapsed, putting refugees at risk of deadly water-borne diseases.

In Burundi, around 32,000 refugees – nearly half of the refugee population in the country – are living in areas affected by the floods, with 500 of them requiring urgent assistance. In the capital, Bujumbura, refugee families along with many Burundians, including elderly people, have had to relocate multiple times as water levels continue to rise. Access to food and other necessities is increasingly difficult as prices have risen due to high fees to use canoes to move goods. Education has ground to a halt as classrooms are flooded and learning materials destroyed. Beyond Bujumbura, rent prices have reportedly doubled, making it too expensive for many refugee families to relocate, leaving them with little choice than to remain in their water-logged homes. Nyanza Lac commune in Makamba province, an area that has received 25,000 Burundian refugees returning home from exile in the past few years, is also badly affected.