Let my people go!


Hear me all ye who have ears. El Nino is coming and there is little chance of avoiding it. The best thing we can do – knowing our government’s lack of preparedness – is to run away.

We must run away from Kenya today before the first drop of that disastrous storm hits the ground. I beseech you to heed my call now, and if you don’t, please refer to the biblical stories of Noah, Jonah, Lot and the other seers whose words were scoffed at by the ancient people.

Tell me. If you choose to remain, will you repair the poor drainage in our estates to avoid flood water from getting into your home? Will you strengthen the bridges so that they are not swept away? Or are you prepared to visit Budalangi and Coast province to assist those who will be stranded for days on end atop trees?

The truth is, you will not. The other more painful truth is neither will the government.

Fine, maybe you are a government official who thinks this article is being too harsh on you. You must earn my benefit of doubt by telling me what plans are in place to prepare for the approaching El Nino.

Tell me Mr/Ms government officer: How many dams have we dug up in Coast province? Do they have strong walls to withstand the water, or are they going to break down and cause more deaths downstream?

How about in Western Kenya? Are the Budalangi dykes strong enough this time round? Do we have a proper relocation site to accommodate those who are surely going to be displaced by the floods? Is it a properly organised site with all the amenities like clean water, food and medical facilities?

Kenya’s roads have been redone across the country. How is the road drainage system? Have you recently inspected them in readiness for El Nino? And the bridges?

The Sasumua Dam has been of little use for Nairobi since the last time El Nino struck the country – more than ten years ago. I was there last month and saw engineering staff repairing the damaged wall. Please tell me, government officer, will the wall be ready for this month’s rainfall?

Have you, in government, made appropriate plans to harvest the excess rain water that is expected to fall across the country, especially so that it may benefit communities in upper Eastern and Northern Kenya? Or is the water simply going to carry with it the top cover of our land and leave our people desperate for water soon after?

If your answer to at least half of these questions is ‘maybe’ or ‘I believe so’…….anything to signify that you are not sure, my dear government official, then it is time to let us leave this country till after the rains.

I have managed to convince quite a number on the need for us to leave the country. I pledge to take good care of these people. For the duration of our sojourn, they shall be my people.

So, please, let my people go!

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