80-year-old granny saved from sinking hut in Nyando

Widowed Siprosa Muga airs her beddings at Ombaka Kakola village in Nyando, Kisumu County. Her house was flattened by raging wind and rain before well-wishers built her a new house. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Mama Siprosa Atieno is lucky to be alive today after she was rescued from a crumbling house following the ongoing rains.

The 80-year-old resident of Kakola Ombaka in Nyando breathed a sigh of relief, after well-wishers pulled her out of the house before helping her erect a new one.

According to Atieno, she had been staying in the damaged house together with her granddaughter for the past 30 years, with every rainy season posing a threat to them.

And on Friday night last week, heavy rains coupled with strong wind sent her house caving in, before villagers came to her rescue.

“I told my granddaughter to move away to seek refuge at the neighbour’s house, as for me I have seen it all in life and had nothing to fear,” said Atieno who has partially lost her eyesight.

Residents, however, moved in quickly and rescued Atieno, before demolishing the house and constructing a new one.

She lost her furniture, foodstuff, utensils and other valuables which were damaged during the incident.

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Monica Omondi, a church minister at a nearby Lifeline Ministries, who was among the people who helped Atieno said she had been seeing the house in a bad condition but did not know someone had been living in it.

“I asked neighbours if someone was in it and they told me there is some old woman there, and I was really touched,” said Ms Omondi.

In collaboration with youths from African Cultural Dance Troupe, they erected another mud-walled house to save the woman.

“I am running a small ECDE centre, and I had to sacrifice the iron sheets which I had bought for its expansion towards this course,” Omondi added.

Floods

Ombaka village located in Nyando is one of the areas which have been bearing the impacts of flooding, with Atieno saying she has been affected every rainy season.

She has been moving with other villagers to seek refuge in rescue centres before returning to their homes when the rains subside.

“After every rainy season, people repair their houses which have been damaged by flooding. My case has been unfortunate as I have lost all my children, and I have no source of income which can earn me enough money to repair the house,” said Atieno.

The situation, she said, has led to the condition of her house deteriorate with time.

Over the weekend, the Chairman of Lake Basin Development Authority, Odoyo Owidi, visited the area, promising that the authority would ensure the construction of dykes along river Nyando and Miriu which have been causing flooding in the area.

Owidi who donated a bed, mattress and other food items to the old lady noted that the long term solution to the flooding will be the construction of Magwagwa Dam in Nyamira to help control the water flowing downstream.

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