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Before March 2018, Kenyans did not understand the existence of an intimate relationship between floods and droughts. In fact, most of us have always thought that floods are for rains as drought is for the sun. At least that is what our Nursery class teacher said. And if the teacher’s words are to go by, then things have really changed nowadays as floods are for drought and the sun is for the rain. Climate confusion one side. Apparently, human beings have distorted nature’s original functionality to an extent of confusing it. Nature no longer knows how to react to human destruction! It has reached a point where nature does not know whether to flood or drought. Whether to kill or spare, whether to sustain or destroy, and whether to remain sane or go absolutely crazy. Sometimes, as currently being witnessed, it chooses to be a mixture of crazy and some drops of hell. Kenya’s desert, Chalbi, is flooding! While a good percentage of Kenyans are suffering from the outcomes of the recent floods that left about 15 people dead, a better one is dying of drought-related starvation. Either way, it is clear that when nature gets confused, human beings suffer in equal measures.
Picture this, a house where half of the family members is down with obesity while the other half is struggling with marasmus. A father in such a homestead does not have the rights to speak before men of his kind who are, never the less, claiming to fight for the well-being of their families. I mean how can you starve half of your family and overfeed the other to an extent of killing them? This is exactly what is happening in Kenya, where the government is torn between combating floods and dealing with adverse effects of drought, at the very time. Is the problem the greedy Nairobians who are busy constructing on riparian lands or the innocent, conservative residents of North Eastern Kenya who seem to have given up on thinking of what do about the daring drought.
We have made natural disasters so welcome that we consider them a norm. No one, including the government, is shocked to hear of drought in North Eastern anymore. In fact, tentative national budgets are only set to deal with post-drought effects and none on preventing future adversities or sustainable mitigation. The local residents are now so used to the drought that the only thing they are left to do during the “drought season” of their ever drought-bound region is to sympathize with their dead cattle. You see, cattle in these regions are expected to be strong enough to survive dry seasons that have no water or pasture. Well, we know that the type of cattle kept in this area includes cows, goats, and camels, which, naturally, have the ability to regurgitate and chew the cud. But how many times do you expect the same cud to be chewed by the same animal in the name of survival? How on earth can a goat be expected to regurgitate the fodder it swallowed just before the drought began, which was three months ago? Tell me if this is not taking animals through an initiation process of separating men from boys.
Until when shall we read about flood and drought-related loss of lives and property? Anyway, whenever such human-caused calamities occur, we are quick to count the magnitude of lives and property lost. But how many times do we count lost flora and fauna species, displace invasive species, and the impact on survival of fish, bird, and other “unknown” species? Looking at it this way, you realize that the impact of man on natural systems goes beyond the visible. This is the time National Construction Authority will be busy perusing through wet pages of their yellow notes to “assess” buildings that should not have been constructed (which, anyway were constructed, for later deconstruction). Speeches and press conferences will be issued, but none will be addressing long-term strategies of de-confusing mother nature.
The current state of nature’s confusion must be addressed. Nature is mad, both upstairs and in the lowlands. I applaud the new Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Tobiko for the tree-planting marathon he has started and the war on logging. As his foot soldier, my gun is cocked! Let’s march in, I’m covering you Tobiko! Right behind you, shooting any visible corrupt KFS or logging cartel. I’m doing well, trust me. Just keep going, you can count on me for your back’s safety.
Can we plant trees through Nakumatt Ukay to various parts of Kahawa, Huruma, Tmall area, Ruai, Two Rivers, Nairobi CBD, Kajiado, and the whole of North Eastern? Yes, we can plant trees on Moi Day too.
The comment section, as always, is all yours.