According to media reports, El Nino has continued to wreak havoc across the country in the last couple of days. At least 40 people have lost their lives. The Nairobi- Mombasa highway was cut off at Taru and road users forced to endure more than 48 hours stuck in traffic. Remember how depressed you become when your car is caught in a traffic jam for 30 minutes? Then think of spending two solid days in traffic.
Even worse, in Ruai Camp for the internally displaced persons, raging waters swept structures thereby re-displacing many people. In Taita Taveta, a four-year old child who was playing with his mates ran into a quarry and drowned. These are just a few cases. Kenyans are at risk.
The Meteorological department says the rains will go on for a relatively longer time. So chances are there will be more deaths, more displacements and more destruction of property and crops.
In the wake of these persistent warnings by the Kenya Meoteorological Services (KMS), Deputy President William Ruto chaired two strategic meetings on the 8th and 25th of November with representatives from all stakeholders. A meeting in which it was passed that the national government would allocate Sh5 billion and county governments Sh7 million as part of the El Nino disaster preparedness fund.
As is peculiarly Kenyan, crazy allocations did not miss out. Sh 30 million was allocated for the transportation of KCSE and KCPE examination materials, another Sh 30 million to investigate and confirm disease outbreaks, and craziest of all, Sh 37,500 per bar soap to mention a few. The big question now is where did El Nino money go?
When people are dying and others getting displaced, when heavy down pour causes traffic snarl ups, when IDPs are getting re-dispaced and the government is looking away, what is the explanation?
With the hot air that symptomised the El Nino mitigation strategies, everyone might have thought that people living in flood prone areas would be resettled before the rains, that bridges would be constructed, that rescue teams would be dispatched across the country to help victims and that very few (if any) lives would be lost.
Reports indicate that Narok, Siaya, Kisumu, Migori, Nakuru, Murang’a, Bomet and Tharaka Nithi are some of the counties greatly affected. Those are not names of places in Wonderland. They are counties in Kenya. The same Kenya whose Deputy President is William Ruto who said verbatim, “Our aim is to avoid the loss of life, minimise the destruction of property and take advantage of the rains to ensure ample supply of water and in semi-arid areas seek to utilise the rainfall for farming.”
Now Kenyans are asking: When will the government start using the El Nino money to avoid the loss of lives, and minimise destruction?
Or did some junior officers in the ministry embezzle it and the CS is yet to blow a whistle the Anne Waiguru way?
Well, whatever the case might be, Kenyans demand to know. Real quick.