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Let rains be a blessing not a curse

By The Standard | Published Thu, March 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 7th 2018 at 23:36 GMT +3
Scenes from Langata Road in Karen after the rains that have been pounding the country fell a tree near the junction of Langata. [Photo by Jeckonia Otieno/Standard]

The country has gone through one of the driest periods in recent history, causing massive crop failure in most areas, consequently leading to starvation.

So dire was the situation that the authorities issued a warning that nearly 3.4 million Kenyans were in danger of starvation. So the arrival of the long-awaited rains has brought great relief. Yet despite that, it is, unfortunately, causing death and havoc in some parts of the country.

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In Murang’a, eight children were, sadly, swept away while returning home from school. In Nairobi, city residents were stuck in traffic for nearly six hours on Tuesday night. There was pandemonium after most roads got flooded.

Elsewhere, transport was paralysed in most parts of Tiaty in Baringo County after rivers Kolowa, Kakapul, Ng’oron and Tiki that cut through roads, burst their banks.

 Yet the irony is that months from now, these areas will experience water scarcity and even drought. Already, there are warnings about cholera and other waterborne disease outbreak. Something needs to be done to reverse the trend, where rains become a curse rather than a blessing.

With more houses and more roads, a lot of the water mass never percolates into the ground. Naturally, water finds its level. This calls for a good drainage system. Secondly, disaster response units need to be spruced up to minimise loss of life and property when calamity strikes.

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Ultimately, with better planning and management, all the rain water that is going to waste, causing death and destruction in its wake, could be harvested, treated and resupplied to address the water shortages in the country.

In countries like Brazil, Argentina, Honduras and Costa Rica, to mention but a few, they have perfected the art of harvesting rain water from rooftops for use in the semi-arid areas of the countries.