Fishing in flooded villages shows the high level of poverty in our society
Whereas television and newspaper images showing residents of Nyando Plains catching fish trapped in flood waters might be cause for laughter, it also the degree of desperation by a people neglected by their own government for years.
When people forego their safety in preference for food in potentially dangerous circumstances, the government is obligated to take note and act expeditiously.
It is important that victims of floods seek safety on higher ground. They normally welcome help with evacuation, especially from the indefatigable Red Cross.
This time round, the residents refused to be evacuated, opting instead to collect stranded fish and carcasses of domestic animals and birds swept down river by the floods.
Many Kenyans are now a desperate and hungry lot — so hungry that massive flooding, with all its destruction, is the lesser of the evils, for it accords them an opportunity to eat without spending money.
This is a shame.
It should embarrass the government and leaders so steeped in controversy, bickering and lust for power as to abdicate their responsibilities to the citizens.
If the same vigour that politicians exert in their premature campaigns were applied in bettering the lives of Kenyans, we’d be half way out the rot we live in today.
Food prices are out of reach for many who make do with barely one meal in day. The upward swing of prices of basic commodities like sugar, flour, milk and rice is worrying and leaves many people angry.
The government should take pride in feeding its people. It must ensure food security by encouraging production. It must provide price stability through tax cuts and duty exemptions.
While Kenyans are easily the most taxed people on earth, they don’t get value for their money. The re-introduction of price controls, if only to protect the vulnerable in society should help.
ALEXANDER CHAGEMA, Kakamega
I think it is pathetic that after 50 years of independence, many Kenyans suffer due to floods.
Do we lack the civil engineering skills to construct dams, dykes, and water pans to control and harness these waters? No, it is lack of will from the ministries involved.
MPs love the floods, as it gives them an opportunity to distribute a few blankets and packets of flour to establish their charitable credentials. If you live in a flood-prone area, don’t expect change; it is not in your MP’s interest.
ANTHONY GITTENS, Kilifi