When calamities strike nations especially third World countries where there are no proper arrangements for the vulnerable groups, women, children and the aged face the sharpest axe. This is a result of their nature.
Today, as I write, hundreds of thousands of families countrywide are facing the hardest moments in their lives. In most of our communities here in Africa, women carry a huge burden of household responsibility; taking care of their children, husbands and the entire community whether in blissful or tough moments. They do menial jobs to make sure their families are well fed while meeting other family needs.
Male chauvinism has exposed women to hardships by taking bigger roles because we all believe women are more compassionate than their counterparts. In times of epidemics and pandemics like what the country is going through, women find themselves wobbling in the jaws of hardships; from securing their families and belongings to ensuring that their families are taken care of in terms of feeding them.
Majority of men tend to ran away from such responsibilities - only a few have a heart for the family. Today, the world is facing the hardest tragedies ever. The novel coronavirus pandemic, natural calamities like floods in some parts of the country among other life threatening vices.
Floods sweep away homes especially those lying around River banks, low lands and riparian lands. The heavy rains like those experienced in Western part of Kenya pose a threat to contraction of waterborne diseases like Cholera, Diarrhoea among other related diseases. Because women, children and the elderly are mostly found in homes, they stand a higher chance of being vulnerable to the situations.
Majority of them lose their lives by being carried away by floods, injuries, and those who survive death contract to diseases like malaria due to use of contaminated water from the floods etc.
Today, Covid-19 pandemic is posing the greatest threat to the lives of Kenyans. Majority of Kenyans live in hand to mouth economy, some lack essential information on how to curb the spread of various mishaps. Such lifestyles emerge as big headaches to the wellbeing of citizens. The current problems facing Kenyans supersedes any promising problems. From natural calamities to emerging diseases, persisting poverty to insecure nation among other vices. Some Kenyans will say they're used to suffering.
What can the government do to protect the vulnerable families?
As I earlier wrote, the three classes of people who suffer most during tragedies are women, children and the elderly. These people undergo psychological torture due unending suffering. Since some calamities are predictable for instance drought, floods etc., the government, through the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), ought to be issuing prior social preparedness. This will help them prepare to evacuate and seek for safer settlements before calamities knock on their doors. The Kenyan government and other humanitarian organizations should be swift in containing situations before they worsen - provide shelter, drugs, food stuffs among other necessities to the affected families. This process should be treated as an emergency.
Families should shun away from old stereotypes; the elderly tend to struggle to refuse to leave their homes to safer places because of cultural ties on the ancestral lands. This situation makes it harder for them to survive in the subsequent tragedies.
Some women and children cannot make personal decisions as most men who stay far away from homes tend to confine their families within homesteads. Hence, this rendering them not to make independent decision making; taking up other decisions like moving away families to safer places during calamities like floods. Women and children too have no manpower (financial incapability) to find new homes.
Some men should be encouraged to support and protect their families. Some men tend to divert various aids from humanitarian support programmes like relief food programme.
The government ought to find long lasting solutions in the curbing of some tragedies by finding its citizens a safer place to stay. In response to Covid-19 pandemic, the government should ensure that all Kenyans from all walks of life have necessary facilities and precautions to curb the contagion's spread and contraction.
Some security officers should be warned against mistreating women among other vulnerable groups in such crisis. Sometimes women undergo further mistreatments during tragedies. They raped and exposed to other humiliations. By so doing the world will be a better place for everyone.