Mother Nature still calls the shots

Years after pandemic, it is wiping out livelihoods as well as savings

In Summary

• Even the rich have not been spared from the wrath of the ongoing floods


These unpredictable floods and the havoc they’ve wrecked on people’s lives have forced us to set aside our minor squabbles and personal woes and for once pay heed to the plight of others.

On social media the other day, someone posted a clip of a posh Nairobi neighbourhood flooded to the ceiling. The caption read, “Hii mvua haitambui hata masonko (This rain does not spare the rich).

As if it’s not enough that the economy was barely on the mend after the post-Covid and post-election slumps, folks are now losing not just their spending power but also the little they had set aside. Like back in the days of the pandemic, Mother Nature has decided to remind us that she still calls the shots.

I once read a piece where one person posited, “What if humans are cosmic viruses? What if we colonise planets, ruin them and migrate to the next poor subject?”

“What if, indeed?” I pose to my house guest Harper as we tend to some injured people at a makeshift clinic on Madharau Street in Mlolongo. “Maybe humans were once in Mars and relocated to Earth after bleeding the red planet dry.”

“You think that’s why we’re so vehemently denying our effects on the climate?” she asks.

“Tell you what, as a doctor, I can aver with certainty that the Covid virus is not sorry it meted so much misery for almost two years. You know, I believe given the chance, it would do it all over again.”

There’s a Kikuyu saying that goes, “Ona īkīhīa, mwene nīotaga (Even as a house burns, the owner enjoys the warmth of the fire).” It means there can still be humour in low times, and maybe the best thing you can do is bring a smile to the neighbour who lost everything in the past few days.

But the best way to gladden a sad heart is by lending a hand. Give a meal, help clean up, tutor a kid, give alms. Everyone can do something.

We might end up being pests on Earth that the planet is trying to flush out, but no one has a choice how we end up here, and the best we can do is see each other to the very end.


*Please, consider donating to the Red Cross or any other reputable organisation. Every little bit helps.

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