According to the government, the number of flood victims in Kenya rose to 257 as of Wednesday. Almost 300,000 people will be directly affected by the ongoing heavy rains, said government spokesman Isaac Mwaura. The residents of more than 50,000 households are homeless or have fled the floods.

President William Ruto declared May 10 a national holiday to commemorate the flood victims and plant trees – also as a measure against the consequences of climate change. The rainy season, which begins in March and usually lasts until the end of May, is intensified this year by the effect of the El NiƱo weather phenomenon.

The rains of the past few weeks had triggered mudslides in the East African country, among other things, and the infrastructure was severely damaged. Several important roads are impassable and railway connections have also been affected. The healthcare system is also affected; according to government figures, more than 60 facilities have been damaged by the floods. At the same time, the first cases of cholera appeared in the flood areas. A good half of Kenya’s administrative districts are affected.

However, the latest forecasts from meteorologists suggest a slight easing of tensions. Schools in Kenya will therefore reopen from Monday, said Ruto. The school term after the Easter holidays was supposed to have started on April 29th, but was suspended due to the storms.

Other East African countries are also affected by heavy rains, although not to such a dramatic extent as Kenya. But there were also deaths, collapsed houses and flooded streets in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 400 people have died across East Africa in the past few weeks.