Aluta Continua

Aluta Continua

The water crisis in Nairobi is of epic proportions between cartels cutting off supply and the incompetent Nairobi water.Life can only give you so many lemons.

Our field trips usually mean very early mornings. -4.00 a.m.- kinds of – mornings. Imagine my shock when I woke up to dry taps. We didn’t have water in the tanks.

I was livid. It is 3.30.a.m. I am debating as to weather I should pay the next bill Nairobi Water sends me.

Needless to say I barely made my flight. Because when things start going wrong, at 3.00 a.m. ,everything goes wrong. I waltzed to my seat amid angry stares from the other passengers I kept thinking, Nairobi water, blame Nairobi water.

We are on assignment in Northern Kenya.

The heat rising from the tarmac when we land hits your nose like a bad flu; we are told this is winter season. At 27 degrees they consider this winter. Temperatures here get to 45 degrees!

Our first trip takes us to a village approximately 200 kms from major towns. Our trip there is characterized by images of animals lying dead on the road, dried up shrubs, dried up rivers that used to be filled with water, trees that once had life.

I was staring at drought in the face and it was staring back – Unmasked and unmoved.

For two years the people of Northern Kenya, have undergone the most severe drought ever experienced. Bare barren land all over, it was a grim image it made my Nairobi water problems feel so far fetched.

They lack basic commodities like food and water. They migrate between counties hoping that it will get better.

We met women who have had to walk long distances just to get water for their families. We heard stories of malnourished children, who are also plagued with respiratory diseases.

We heard stories of lactating mothers and pregnant women who don’t have access to nutrients. Families have had to move in search of water and pasture.

The drought is real!

To the people, one jerry can of water is a gift from above. Water so scarce they go for days without a single shower, or even a change of clothes. Yes! I feel very petty.

Nature may have dealt them a serious blow, but like brave soldiers at war with Mother Nature, they have stood their ground and forged ahead with renewed hope and determination. Aluta Continua!

Wanjiru Kimuya

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