By Vincent Mabatuk
Timbwoiyo village in Central Baringo is usually serene. Villagers go about their daily businesses without worry. But last Friday night, this peaceful life was turned upside down when the ground on which the people stood rumbled.
Then a disturbingly rapid movement.
When the residents peeked to find out what was happening, they were horrified by what they saw. Rocks, soil, crops, logs, tree branches and leaves, among other debris were moving downhill with lightning speed.
“Hell had come to the village,” a resident recounted what he saw in an interview with The Standard.
Time to run
They knew it was time to run away from their village on the slopes of the Tugen Hills as it was no longer habitable. The question was how to navigate the soggy grounds.
This season, the residents were sure of a bumper harvest, but as they fled from their homes, they saw what used to be their farms buried under tonnes of mud, huge trees and stones. Their fruitful harvest was gone with the heavy rain.
There was no time to count losses as the first priority was to get to safety.
Some have camped at relatives’ homes away from the village while others have sought refugee in primary schools which are deemed to be safe for now.
While safety is now their main concern, for William Kipchumba what hit the village most is a painful personal loss.
Kipchumba, a teacher at one of the local schools, lost his 12-year-old son after boulders swept through the family kitchen where the Standard Four pupil was warming himself by the fireplace.
The boy had been rained on and decided to warm himself by the fire for a few minutes before joining the rest of the family for supper in the main house.