The gods are furious, the land is dry and it is time to mourn

By Juma Fred / February 20, 2018

Repeated droughts

They say when the gods want to kill you, they first make you proud then mad and then they finish you off.

Some time back, a former Member of Parliament for Bureti Constituency and former minister for Health, who am ashamed to name, stood on a podium and asked, “Does rain come from trees or from above? (His equally ignorant listeners roared that it comes from heaven). Even if you have been educated, even if you have ten degrees, or even 20, rain still comes from…. (His listeners again roared, “From God above”) Forests do not bring rain. Rain brings forests. All those claiming that rain comes from forests are thieves!” That was a member of parliament by then and a minister for Health. I think this must have been one of the most ignorant politicians of that time.

At that time, the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga had raised concerns about some powerful people encroaching into Mau Forest, the source of water for most rivers in the country. They called him a witch, a fool, ignorant and a confused buffoon. The old man gave up and told them, ‘you will remember me one day.’

They, therefore, encroached the forested land with impunity, cut down the trees, built houses and started farming. At a start, things seemed okay. They enjoyed their loot but now the gods are angry, rivers are drying up, no food, no water, only sweat, tears and frustrations.

According to available statistics, more than 3.5 million Kenyans are facing hunger and starvation, 90 percent of them coming from regions that have been hard-hit by the ‘man-made’ drought. Thousands of children are now suffering from acute malnutrition and families are walking hundreds of kilometers in search of water and pasture for their livestock.

At the moment, more than 100 schools in Baringo County are at the brink of being closed, ten of them having already been closed due to the ravaging drought. School children in this county have been spending more than six hours, from the wee hours of the morning to noon, looking for water to drink and for cooking a meal at their schools. They only spend less than an hour in class.

The Kenya Metrological Department has already sounded an alarm over the expected depressed rainfall in most parts of the country especially in the Eastern sector during the month of March to May which is often characterized by long rains.

According to the department, there will be a near normal rainfall in the parts of Western Kenya, Central Rift Valley, Central Kenya, and Nairobi but most of the regions will remain dry.

The taps in Nairobi have been dry for more than a year. Most parts of the city have not seen a drop of water for more than 14 months. This was after the County Government initiated a water rationing following a drop in water levels in Ndakaini Dam to below 30 percent.

About Juma Fred

Juma Fredrick is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it. You can reach him on: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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