2020 East Africa floods

The 2020 East Africa floods were a natural disaster in Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Tanzania, affecting at least 700,000 people. They began when excessive rains began falling in March, leading to massive flooding and landslides. They caused more than 430 deaths, notably in Kenya and Rwanda.

2020 East Africa floods
DateMarch–May 2020
LocationRwanda, Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Tanzania
DeathsAt least 443 (237 in Kenya, 97 in Rwanda, 44 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 24 in Ethiopia, 21 in Somalia, 11 in Uganda, 8 in Djibouti, 1 in Burundi)

Impact by countryEdit


Heavy rain, lighting and thunderstorms affected the country between 2 and 4 March, causing 5 fatalities, with floods reported in Kigali and Southern provinces. Two people died in flooding in Ruhango district, Southern Province and one person in Gasabo District, Kigali Province. One person also died as a result of lightning strikes in Rulindo district, Northern Province and another one in Nyanza District, Southern Province. A total of 13 people were injured and 42 houses destroyed. Roads and bridges were also damaged or destroyed. On 7 March 5 people died after heavy rain caused a river to overflow and flood a cave in Nyamagabe district in Southern Province.[1]

In April, 6 people died after heavy rain triggered landslides in Gicumbi district in Northern Province. The worst affected areas are Nyankenke and Kageyo Sectors. Property, infrastructure and livestock have all been damaged or destroyed. Authorities urged residents in high-risk zones to relocate to safer areas. Heavy rain also affected parts of Eastern province 19 and 20 April where media said at least 3 people had died in separate flood incidents in Gatsibo district. Flooding has also caused damage to crops in the district.[2]

Heavy rain across the country from 1 to 3 May caused severe damages and 8 fatalities. 70 people have died in floods and landslides after torrential rain. The Byimana weather station in Ruhango District recorded 140 mm of rainfall in 24 hours on 7 May. The rain and floods also destroyed 91 houses, 5 bridges, and washed away crops.[3]


237 people have died in flooding in Kenya in April and May while over 100,000 have been displaced. Flooding has affected 29 of the country’s 47 counties. Wide areas of land are under water in Busia and Siaya counties, western Kenya, after the Nzoia river overflowed. More than 800,000 Kenyans in 161,000 households have been adversely affected by the effects of the ongoing heavy rains.[4][5]


Heavy rain has affected wide areas of Somalia from 20 April, causing rivers to rise and flash flooding. On 27 April, massive flash flooding swept through the city of Gardo in the northeastern Bari region, part of the autonomous Puntland state. 16 people have died, 546,103 affected and 216,895 displaced. Hundreds of families have reportedly lost their homes.[6][7] In addition five people died when the rain caused a house to collapse on 11 May.[8]


1 person died and 280 were displaced after severe weather in Burundi during the period 2 to 8 March.[9]


8 people have died in flash flooding in Djibouti. Djibouti city and surrounding areas were the worst affected after flash flooding struck on 21 April after overnight heavy rain. The UN in Djibouti said initial estimates indicate that some 18,000 households (approximately 110,000 persons) were affected across Djibouti city and its suburb of Balbala.[10]


As many as 12 people are thought to have died in a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Ethiopia. The landslide struck in Ale Special Woreda in Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNP). Six houses were completely destroyed and several families displaced. Seven bodies have been found, with 5 still missing. Search operations were continuing but has been hindered by unstable terrain. Eight people died in Gamo[disambiguation needed] zone in a period 11 to 18 April. Flooding in Jinka town on 25 April damaged infrastructure and livestock. Other areas of the country have also seen heavy rain since late April. Flash floods on 24 April left at least 4 people dead in Dire Dawa.[11]


Thousands of people have been affected by flash flooding and landslides in Western and Northern Regions after heavy rainfall from around 1 May. Homes were destroyed and around 5,000 people displaced. Four people are thought to have died in the floods, with a further 3 people missing. Severe flooding and landslides occurred in Rubanda District, where 2 people have died and 31 houses have been destroyed. The landslides struck after hours of heavy rain on 2 May. Flooding in Kabale District in Western Uganda on 01 May damaged roads and homes. At least person reportedly died in the floods. About 500 families in Nakapiripirit district have been displaced and their crops destroyed following flood triggered by heavy rain on 2 May. Heavy rain over recent weeks has increased levels of Lake Victoria where more than 3,800 people on lake islands in Mayuge District, were been told to evacuate as levels of the lake rose.[12] On 21 May, 8 persons perished in new flash floods.[13]

Democratic Republic of the CongoEdit

44 people died, 200 were injured, while 64,000 were homeless in flooding in South Kivu Province.[14] Torrential rain fell in the city of Uvira and surrounding areas in South Kivu, from 16 to 17 April.[15][16]


In April, thousands of people have been affected by flooding and mudslides in Arusha and Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. Two fatalities were reported in Arumeru District, Arusha Region, where at least 50 homes have been destroyed. Flooding has also blocked the important Arusha-Moshi road in Arumeru District, stranding hundreds of passengers. In Kilimanjaro region, more than 2,700 households in Moshi district have been made homeless by floods. Dozens of homes have been swept away by flash floods in Hai District.[17]


  1. ^ "Rwanda – Heavy Rain and Storms Cause Fatalities". floodlist.com.
  2. ^ "Rwanda and Burundi – 9 Dead, Thousands Affected After Floods and Landslides". floodlist.com.
  3. ^ "Rwanda – Torrential Rain and Floods Leave Over 60 Dead". floodlist.com.
  4. ^ "Kenya – Flood Death Toll Rises, 100,000 Displaced". floodlist.com.
  5. ^ "Kenya – Floods Hit North and Central Regions as Death Toll Rises to 237". floodlist.com. 2020-05-13.
  6. ^ "Somalia – Deadly Flash Floods in North East". floodlist.com.
  7. ^ "Somalia – Over 200,000 Displaced by Floods". floodlist.com. 2020-05-11.
  8. ^ "Somalia – 4 Dead After Heavy Rain Floods Mogadishu". floodlist.com. 2020-05-11.
  9. ^ "Burundi – Floods and Rain Leave 1 Dead, Hundreds Displaced". floodlist.com.
  10. ^ "Djibouti – 8 Killed in Flash Floods". floodlist.com.
  11. ^ "Ethiopia – 12 Killed in Landslide Triggered by Heavy Rain". floodlist.com.
  12. ^ "Uganda – Floods Affect Thousands in Western and Northern Regions". floodlist.com.
  13. ^ {{cite news|url=http://floodlist.com/africa/uganda-floods-kasese-may-2020%7Ctitle=Uganda – 8 Dead After More Floods in Kasese|website=floodlist.com|date=22 May 2020}
  14. ^ "DR Congo – Hundreds Homeless After Kasai River Floods in Mai-Ndombe Province". floodlist.com. 20 May 2020.
  15. ^ "DR Congo – Over 30 Killed in Uvira Floods, South Kivu Province". floodlist.com.
  16. ^ "DR Congo – Hundreds Homeless After Floods in Maniema". floodlist.com. 2020-05-13.
  17. ^ "Tanzania – Deadly Floods and Mudslides Hit Northern Regions". floodlist.com.