Kenya: State of Kenyan People after continued heavy rains


Kenya: State of Kenyan People after continued heavy rains

While the government has pledged considerable aid and is actively assisting in various areas, the scale of the disaster requires additional support. NGOs and local churches are stepping forward with their resources to help, particularly in slum neighborhoods where public centers are now sheltering displaced individuals. Additionally, there are plans to evacuate communities at risk of dam failures to safer locations, with the government committing to create temporary accommodation centers equipped with basic necessities.

The tremendous rainfall has caused widespread flooding across various regions of Kenya

In Mai Maiu, a dam burst at 3 a.m., causing a deadly flash flood that claimed the lives of over 70 people as they slept. The situation in Nairobi’s slums is equally rough, with flash floods transforming minor watercourses into deadly torrents; in Mathare alone, 60,000 residents have lost their homes. Despite these challenges, the young people of Mathare have been lauded for their bravery in rescuing hundreds, thus preventing the loss of more lives.

With numerous dams across Kenya at risk of failing and potentially causing further severe floods, the anticipated heavy rainfall poses a major challenge due to already wet soil. Compounding the situation, factors such as corruption, contractor negligence, and poor urban planning have intensified the effects of the floods. Additionally, deforestation, insufficient drainage, and substandard infrastructure have significantly worsened the disaster’s severity.

Our missionary efforts have taken on a new urgency under these circumstances

In Meru Parish, the heavy rains led to the collapse of one of our primary schools. Similarly, the parish of Kionyo, located in the high mountains, reports that the elderly are suffering from the cold as dry firewood becomes scarce, and the slippery roads make it dangerous to go into town for supplies. The Kisaju Postulancy (formation house) has experienced flooding in the basement chapel and bedrooms due to water seeping through the walls, effectively isolating the facility like an island amid the waters.

Some residents are facing starvation because they cannot get food or medical care

While the main center remains intact in the Kisaju Parish of Maasai, its seven prayer centers face unique challenges. Access roads through rivers are blocked by water and sometimes fallen trees, severely restricting local employment and access to essential services. Some residents are facing starvation because they cannot get food or medical care. The local Maasai community, recently emerging from a drought, faces challenges as their livestock die of sickness. People in Larmudiac Parish lost crops and money because they bought fake fertilizers. These challenges are anticipated to reduce contributions necessary for managing parish and school expenses, pastoral programs, and children’s food programs, indicating a long-term impact on community support and recovery.

Any help you can provide to share with those in need will be appreciated.  Meanwhile, the Oblates from our parishes are working to alleviate suffering wherever possible, and our young Oblates continue to distribute food aid in the Mathare slums of Nairobi.

By Fidele Munkiele, OMI

Published on the OMI World website