HOMES AND LIVES WASHED AWAY
More than 290,000 people have been forced to leave their homes across Kenya, after heavy rains and floodings washed away whole villages.
The devastating flooding was caused by intense downpours in the highlands, swelling the rivers as they made their way towards the sea and bursting the banks.
Farmland was covered in a layer of silt. Goats and hens drowned and grazing pasture is now under water. Lives and livelihoods have been hit hard.
We’re working with local organisations and Rotary groups to understand how we can help provide emergency shelter to help families start rebuilding their lives.
We’re determined to help as many families as we can, in Kenya and around the world. Will you help?
ON THE GROUND
Our teams have visited two different counties in Kenya to understand the problems that families are facing right now.
Families that used to live in Malimo village were forced to leave their homes when the floodwater swept through.
The village now shows only a few remnants of habitation – a roof with no walls, a couple of piles of sticks – but no sign of the 104 family homes that were once here.
The community are now sheltered under tarpaulins in Kakuyuni camp, about four kilometres away.
LIFE AT THE KAKUYUNI CAMP
Many families now live in Kakuyuni camp, where makeshift shelters dot the horizon as far as the eye can see.
This was once a spacious compound housing the offices of the senior chief of the area, Naphtal Bimo Fondo.
He still occupies his office in the camp, working hard to coordinate deliveries of food and water. Chief Naphtal is unsure about the possibility of his people returning home anytime soon.
Life at a Tana River Camp
One of the Tana River camps that our team visited, shelters communities that once lived in the Ondana and Ongonyo villages. These are now only accessible by boat – even the road to get here is partially flooded.
In the middle of the temporary camp goats and cattle are corralled by walls of acacia thorns.
Surrounding the animals are dome-like structures of branches, covered in tarpaulins and brightly coloured pieces of cloth. These shelters are built by the women, or in many cases girls.
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Hadija Elema has been building shelters since she was 12 years old. She was taught the technique by her grandmother Halima and mother Zeinab, a tradition handed down through the maternal generations.
Now 15, she can build one of these sturdy structures in half a day, her fingers expertly securing the palm twine around the joins of the branches.
But Hadija hasn’t been to school since the flooding. It’s too far away and she would have to cross the river.