On top of all the problems of the Coronavirus lockdown, it’s important not to forget that other challenges exist, many of them longer lasting than a virus. In Western Kenya climate change has brought another bout of flooding.
Thousands of Kenyans have been displaced from their homes and are living in temporary camps, according to latest reports from the country.
Heavy rains in the Nyanza region have left low-land homes inaccessible and forced many men, women and children to find shelter wherever they can, according to Alice Kirambi, who runs the development NGO Christian Partners Development Association.
“This is clear evidence of climate change,” she says.
And it’s forcing people to come closer together, when the guidance is for them to social isolate, and keep a distance from their neightbours.
In a message to the world for much needed assistance Alice says” “Men, women, girls and boys, plus babies are all marooned together in isolated buildings like schools, churches and camps.
“Life in the camps is unbearable,” she says.
“The first major requirements are food; maize, beans, green grams and cooking oil, soaps, clean drinking water and vegetables.
“Secondly,” she says, “some pregnant mother and young babies require mosquito nets, blankets, linen, soap and sanitary pads for the girls and mothers.”
On top of this of course are the basics of COVID-19 prevention – masks, sanitiziers, soaps and hand washing equipment – are also urgently needed.
Sixteen camps have been set up in the region, on the border between Kisumu and Vihiga counties. Each camp initially catering to 200 people.
And Kenya is just coming into malaria season, so the stakes are very high indeed.
“There are 16 camps of displaced persons who are desperate and living in despair,” says Alice.
“The state of hopelessness in setting in and rape and Gender based violence is rampant.”
With the whole world’s efforts focused directly on the coronavirus outbreak, it may be some time before the assistance comes to the needy displaced flood victims of Western Kenya.
If you have any capacity to help, do drop us a direct message and we can direct your funds to the flood effort and the work of Christian Partners Development Association.