Survival kits we all need during this rainy season

Children sail on a boat through their flooded village in Kakola Ombaka, Kisumu County on May 12, 2021.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

The rain is back with a vengeance, and as usual, drainages, the few that exist, are clogged to the core, useless against the raging waters that have swallowed up roads and paths, forcing us to either swim or wade our way home. But we are the lucky ones, since there are other Kenyans who are marooned in their own homes, which have been turned into tiny islands.

Since this is always the case every year for as long as we can remember, it is time that we did something to help ourselves, since the government and the 47 county governments seem incapable of saving us from the agony of poor drainage systems that lead to loss of lives and destruction of property belonging to hard-working Kenyans every year.

What we need to start putting together is a survival kit to help tide us over every rainy season. The first survival tool that comes to mind is a canoe. If those imprisoned in, or locked out of their homes by all the flooding around us had one, life would go on as usual because canoes are able to tread where cars and human feet cannot.

 You simply row yourself and your children in and out of your home, and when the rains finally subside, you store your canoe somewhere in readiness for the next rainy season. This presents a money-making opportunity for savvy Kenyans because someone has to make the canoes that we will all use, right?

Speaking of making-money, those with mikokotenis are making serious money right now, ferrying hapless Kenyans across flooded sections of non-existent roads since life has to go on, floods or no floods, so you might want to invest in one.

Heavy duty gumboots

Something else that should be in the survival pack is a pair of heavy duty gumboots because normal shoes just won’t do, especially since the flood water is probably infused with disease-causing raw sewage. Would you rather look good or keep your feet dry?

As you all know through painful experience, immediately it starts raining, the electricity disappears, leaving us in darkness. It, therefore, makes sense to invest in alternative lighting, which we’re not short of in our country since lack of electricity is a way of life – korobois, paraffin lanterns, candles, torches, rechargeable bulbs and solar lamps. Buy what you can afford in these corona times because lots of darkness lies ahead.

There is a possibility of being unable to return home in the evening due to raging floods, which even your canoe might be unable to withstand. Every time you walk out of your home every morning, carry with you food rations to tide you over the long cold night, wherever the floods will have imprisoned you. What immediately comes to mind is a generous packet of peanuts and some water.

And if you have a condition that requires regular medication, I suggest that you carry your entire prescription with you at all times because you might just not make it home today. I would say a change of clothes, but I imagine that changing into clean clothes is the last thing people think about while staring at flood water swirling around their legs.

I need not mention a mobile phone since we’re so attached to this gadget, some even carry it with them to the bathroom... the truth is that we’re more likely to leave our child behind during an emergency than we are our mobile phones.

Seriously though, for how long will we ask the government to “do something” about these devastating floods we experience every year?

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