January 30, 2024

When It Rains, It Pours

Post by 
Makena Mugambi

rom 2017 to 2023, Kenya has faced a severe national drought. The drought brought an increase in food insecurity, particularly within the pastoralist communities we serve. Poverty levels also increased as people were not able to meet or afford their daily needs because of a lack of water.

In April 2023, we saw a turn of events when the Kenya Metrological Department declared that heavy rains were to be expected mid-year. Their announcement was more of a warning of El Nino rains that can be quite damaging. However, the promise of rain seemed to triumph all concerns that may arise. In October to December, the typical season for short rains, the heavy rains that had been predicted began. These rains have made the land that was completely dry and cracked full of green pastures. In our Kajiado communities, farmers have been able to feed their livestock with the surplus of grass that has sprouted from the rains. With these rains, families have also been able to receive and store water for their homes. This is a favorable situation for us and the communities we serve as we see them benefitting from the natural water supplies that they are getting.

Though we are rejoicing at the coming of rain, the magnitude of the El Nino rains has caused havoc across the nation, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas. There has been great flooding and damaging of homes and crops as water sweeps across the land. The excessive rain has also damaged the roads and even kept some of our girls in West Pokot from being able to report to school. This season has also been dangerous as the dried rivers that pastoralists were used to crossing are now filled and overflowing.

River flooding a roadway.

Among these events, we received some unexpected news that one of our university students, Phoebe, lost her father to the Olkajiado River in Kajiado as he was crossing the river on his way from the market back to his home in Orinie village, the site of our next clean water project. His passing leaves his community grieved at the reality of the natural occurrences that are happening from the heavy rains. Pastor John Kiroka had this to say regarding the recent events, “As we thank God for the provision of rain, we are saddened by the passing of Phoebe’s dad whose body is yet to be found in the Olkajiado River. During this time, we ask for prayers over Phoebe and her family as not having his physical body to give a proper burial raises concerns for her family and community. Although we have confirmed that the items found washed by the river belonged to him. Good and evil situations always go together, but what we hope is that the good will always overpower the evil events that take place in our world. The good we are believing will come from this is that Phoebe will find strength in remembering the love of her father and that it will help her be able to recover in due time from this loss.”

Kenya Team visting with Phoebe's family.

The Kenya Meteorogical Department predicts that the heavy rainfall will continue through the end of January 2024. As we hold both the good and hard realities that are coming from this natural occurrence, we ask that you keep team Kenya in your thoughts and prayers in these ways:

  1. Protection over the families and communities in Kajiado, West Pokot and across Kenya.
  2. For Phoebe and her family, as well as others that have lost family members as a result of the heavy rains.
  3. Reconstruction of the roads that have been damaged, particularly in West Pokot as our team plans to travel there in February.
  4. For wisdom for Pastor Kiroka as he navigates walking alongside various families experiencing loss during this season.