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Floods leave tourists stranded in Maasai Mara as Mutua issues evacuation orders

The government has ordered evacuations after heavy rains flooded lodges and camps in the Maasai Mara, a popular world tourist destination, after the Telek River burst its banks, stranding tourists.

In a statement on Wednesday, May 1, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua ordered all hotels and camps adjacent to rivers within national parks and reserves to prepare for evacuation.

“Attention all hotels and camps adjacent to rivers within national parks and reserves: Prepare for possible evacuations should rivers overflow. Develop clear evacuation, transportation and hospitality protocols,” CS Mutua said.

He revealed that several camps had been affected, “prompting our coordinated rescue efforts, which have so far been effective”.

Others, including locals, are waiting for the floodwaters to recede.

In a separate statement, the Narok County government said it had been informed of the heavy rains affecting its region, especially during this critical flood season, and urged residents to take necessary precautions to protect lives and property.

“After several days of continuous rainfall, our rivers have swollen, affecting several camps and areas in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. In response, we have placed two helicopters on standby to evacuate people from affected areas upon receiving distress calls,” the statement read in part.

“Together, we are implementing evacuation plans and mobilising resources to respond promptly to emergency calls and ensure the safety of our residents. We remain committed to fulfilling our duty to protect and serve the people of Narok County during these challenging times.

No deaths have been reported so far, although the government says more than 160 people have died in the floods across the country.

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