Effects of weather on the hustler
By XN Iraki | December 11th 2019
Rain brings out the truth of being a hustler. I see that everyday as they wait for the bus in the rain, walk in the rain and dirty water is splashed on them by uncouth motorists. And when houses collapse, that often affects the hustlers more, as they live in high rise buildings more likely to collapse than bungalows.
When it’s hot, it’s not any better; they sweat in the sun, walk in the sun and dust keeps them company. We should thank modern road constructors for thinking about hustlers with well done walkways particularly the bypass from Waiyaki way to Red Hill.
Effects of the rain and sun
Extreme weather exposes the vulnerability of being a hustler. But it has positives effects for the hustler. The rain ought to bring down the cost of power because the dams get full. It is often a struggle to pay for power. Harvesting water can reduce costs of water. But hustlers’ residencies make water harvesting impossible. How do you harvest water in apartments or slums?
The sunshine makes it to easy to get solar power where hustlers are not connected to the grid. And it’s cheaper in clothes - you wear less.
In addition to poverty, slums thrive in Africa because the weather allows. You can‘t live in shacks through deep winters or hot and humid summers.
In developed countries, there is a deliberate effort to mitigate the suffering of the hustlers even when the weather is not extreme. They benefit from public housing and other subsidies. These countries long realized that hustling is not a crime, it’s the reality of life. We can never be the same. Even our IQ are different and not for the fault of our own.
Other forces working against hustlers
In Kenya we seem to think that hustlers are in that position because they never worked hard in school, they are careless, lazy or unambitious.
There are forces that can be overwhelming to them, some from nature like extreme weather, natural endowment or regulations.
Great civilizations try and uplift those already disadvantaged by nature. We seem to either keep them in their current position or bring them further down. But we are trying with stipends for the elderly.
The suffering of the hustlers through floods or droughts exposes the fissures in our socio-economic systems. We need to close then. Will BBI do it?
Hustlers are the majority in our economy and drive it without recognition. We must address their needs in both bad and good weather. Condolences to those who lost their relatives in extreme weather.
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