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East Africa hit by deadly flooding

People have been forced from their homes as rivers burst their banks

Flooding as a result of recent heavy rains has killed more than 260 people across East Africa.

Kenya has been the hardest hit with the government recording 194 deaths.

In Rwanda, 55 people have died and floods have killed 16 in Somalia. In Uganda high water levels have trapped an estimated 200 patients inside a hospital.

East African countries have also been hit by a locust invasion and Covid-19.

The authorities in Kenya have told people in some of the affected areas to move away from "potential danger".

The water has also washed away 8,000 acres of crops and some vital infrastructure, the government has said.

Meteorologists predict that the heavier than usual rains will continue throughout May, reports the BBC's Patience Atuhaire in Uganda's capital, Kampala. The rainy season normally lasts until June.

Women wading through waterImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe heavy rain is expected to continue for weeks
Residents use a boat to carry their belongings through the waters after their homes were flooded as the River Nzoia burst its banksImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionSome residents in western Kenya have had to find a safe place for their belongings

In Rwanda, people died as a result of landslides in the mountainous north-west of the country.

Houses, roads and crops were all destroyed and hundreds remain homeless, mayors of the affected districts have told the BBC's Great Lakes service.

A house destroyed by a landslide
Image captionThis house in Rwanda was destroyed by a landslide

What's the latest from Uganda?

In western Uganda, a river burst its banks causing people to flee for safety to the town of Kasese.

At the nearby Kilembe hospital, rescuers are trying to reach the trapped patients and take them to a church.

Temporary shelter
Image captionSome communities near Lake Victoria have been forced into temporary shelters

In recent weeks, water levels in Lake Victoria have reach an unprecedented height, forcing shoreline communities to abandon their homes and causing erosion along the River Nile, which is fed by the lake.

Last month, a huge floating island of loose vegetation led to a nationwide blackout in Uganda after clogging a turbine in a hydroelectric power station.

At the end of last year, rain-triggered disasters, including flash floods and landslides, killed at least 250 people and affected some three million people across East Africa.

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