BY ANGAYA AVEDI
A story is told of a village. One bright morning the villagers realised that someone was drowning little children in the river that cut right through the village. Everyone was worried not only due to the high number of drowning children, but also because the river was the only source of drinking water for this village.
Something had to be done, and fast. A plan was hatched – all villagers, including their chief, moved downstream at a strategic place where they thought they could rescue the children. They saved a few, the rest continued drowning while the villagers observed, helpless.
But one wise, elderly lady came up with a different plan. She went upstream to the river source to establish what, exactly, was throwing the children into the stream.
Kenya needs this lady today. It doesn’t matter whether she will be a man or a woman, from the Central highlands or the northern desert, whether from the swampy coast or the flooded western region, we need this old lady. One who will see the need to go to the source of the river and find out what is causing the perennial famine in Turkana and Ukambani, one who will pass information to members of the Mercy Train on what we could do to avert suffering in future.
We do not need to wait for politicians anymore, neither do we have to wait for December to send packets of flour to Kitui and blankets to Budalang’i. We need to do something NOW. We do not have to go on boycotts or shouting sprees, we need to act.
If only we could find a way of harvesting water in Nairobi and taking it to Ukambani, if only the water that causes havoc every year in Budalang’i could be stored, if only, with the kindness that we have always shown when famine has already struck, we can start an initiative to stop it beforehand…if only we could be the old lady!
Can someone out there think of something?
(Angaya Avedi is an ardent contributor to blogs on Capital News)