There is a small village that ‘floats’ on Lake Victoria. After years of standing strong against being swept away by Nzoia River, Sango Nang’anda village defiantly stands, desolate and forgotten, tucked besides one of the three mouths of River Nzoia as it enters Lake Victoria.
About 30 houses, whose walls are made of river reeds and sticks, still stand. Their roofs are nylon sheets and any tough pieces of clothes. These roofs also serve as places to dry laundry, fish and anything else that needs the sun.
This environment needs survivors.”
There are no floors. Just water and some loose sandy ground formed through years of siltation. Houses line up in two rows facing each other, shaped like a thin elongated boat. They are surrounded by thick overgrown reeds, which also provide cover against windstorms from the lake.
Residents say the village is home to a population of about 200 adults.
“We were more than this, but as you can see for yourself, this environment needs survivors,” Kanutu Omalo, one of the residents says when we visited.
Omalo is among members of Nyumba Kumi initiative in the village, the only visible sign of government. The village is in Namabusi sub-location, Bunyala South.
Omalo took us round the village and in one of the houses where we saw just how the basic things that a majority of Kenyans take for granted, are precious here. They have a few solar panels perched on the rickety roofs for electricity.
“Water took away our land. Life is hard. Now we have to buy everything. Sleeping at night is a nightmare. There are so many mosquitoes. We also have nowhere to rest. If you are tired, you can only rest on your boat,” he said.
Omalo says the population of the village was more than 300 people but children and women have been evacuated to higher grounds for safety.
You walk around in gumboots. Inside the houses, residents have built makeshift beds that float on water. Some are tied to the ‘walls’. They also have mosquito nets. But it is difficult to tell if the nets will be effective given that their beds are on water.