The much-awaited rains are here. And Although meteorologists have warned that they won't last long, they are pounding hard and furious, with no signs that they will abate soon.
Needless to say, there is perceptible collective sigh of relief. The farmers are celebrating, herders can be heard whistling joyfully in the fields and there is an expectant smile on the faces of urban residents who have been buying food at inflated prices.
But some people are not smiling. These are victims of floods Â¡Âª people who have been rendered homeless in various parts of the country.
No wonder, some associate the onset of rains with suffering death and destruction. This neednÂ¡Â¯t be the case. While we cannot stop rains, we can avoid living in flood and landslide-prone areas. If anything, meteorologists always ask people to leave such areas whenever they sense danger, until it is safe.
But there are usually a few who fail to take these warnings seriously. The Government has a duty to keep them safe Â¡Âªthrough persuasion or force.
Voice of reason from the Coast
It is true that there is a trail of historical injustices at the Coast Province that ought to be addressed by the Government, says a concerned Mombasa resident who requests anonymity.
However, he says, the road that the so called Mombasa Republican Council has taken in demanding for justice is full of potholes.
"What happened to the tolerance of the coastals? Why are they engaging in acts of violence against Government," he asks and adds: "As people of coastal Kenya we stand to lose big by advocating for violence. Let us avoid igniting hatred and violence on the pretext of demanding for our rights."
Kenyans, he argues, donÂ¡Â¯t seem to have learnt anything from the violence that rocked the country after the disputed elections in 2007. He adds that he was taken aback recently when a teacher went to school while donning an MRC T-shirt.
He urges the MRC and coastal communities to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Government instead of resorting to violence. "Only a fool disregards what so many people are telling him/her, especially if it is being repeated like an ominous refrain," he concludes.