From Soaked to Scorched- In Three Months Time

Leaders: Implement Sustainable Solutions In Your Disaster-Stricken Regions

For over a month now, heavy rains have pounded the Northern and coastal regions of Kenya, causing widespread floods and bringing about severe consequences. Homes have been swept away, roads submerged, and desperate residents forced to swim for their lives—a grave humanitarian crisis has unfolded before our eyes.

Do you remember the earlier warnings about these torrential rains? Despite the alerts, not much could be done at that time, except the usual advising people to evacuate low-lying areas. Perhaps, maybe, boats ndio tu zingework.

Ironically, in about three months, the same regions grappling with floods will face the harsh reality of a severe drought. I am not a prophet of doom but this cyclical pattern, witnessed over the years, will once again show images of animal carcasses and malnourished residents fetching black water. Organizations like the Red Cross will be jumping from giving blankets in cold weather to donating foodstuffs in a famine accompanied with soft spoken genuinely empathetic statements, even when we did not elect them.

Today, I for the first time came across a somehow substantive public statement from a high office since the crisis began. Numerous other statements have been made, some addressing issues like leaked roofs and whose billions. The Les Wanyika were right when they said \”Shillingi Yaua.\” Another press statement from a five-star hotel in Nairobi addressed people of North Eastern Kenya,telling them, \’We are working on it\’ in typical diplomatic language.

In these efforts, the motivation behind them appears sadly short-term. While urgent life-saving measures are crucial, it\’s equally vital to devise sustainable solutions to prevent such crises in the very near future.

Leaders must genuinely commit to improving the lives of their people. Those in flood-prone areas like North Eastern Kenya, I think constructing dams to manage runoff and manipulating the terrain to prevent water stagnation will better the future situations. Engage the community in the process of change and transformation. As for cities like Mombasa, identify and address the root causes, whether it\’s poor drainage systems or poor planning. Consult with your staff and constituents to implement sustainable solutions that will prevent the recurrence of such disasters. It\’s time to act with a long-term perspective for the well-being of the people and the environment.

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