In Summary
  • A quick scan at some of the homesteads in the village shows that nearly 90 per cent of them were left without  latrines, and nearly half of them with no kitchens after the rain.
  • Most of the villagers, who use mainly firewood, are now cooking out in the open.

On the morning of Sunday, May 20, 2018, some of the residents of Kaseve village in Muvau Sub-location, Makueni County, woke up to find some of their houses extensively damaged, and  their pit latrines, filled with water while the weak ones had collapsed following heavy rains. “It had rained for two consecutive days and nights. The ground could not absorb  anymore water,” says Bernard Nzwii of Muvau sub-location, Makueni County.

“We  met in the bush as we answered the call of nature,” says Magdalene Nzisa, Mr Nzwii’s wife. She says it  was both embarrassing and dehumanizing. “It reduces you to  the level of an animal, yet, you are spoiling the same grass and bushes that your cows, sheep and goats will feed on,” she laments.

The ground pollution, if not acted upon, risks infecting their livestock  with bacteria and other disease-causing micro-organisms, says Dr John Muthee, a lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Studies at the University of Nairobi. “Most of the animals have contagious diseases, with larvae under the skin,” noted Dr Muthee as he treated livestock in the village during a free four-day community livestock vaccination campaign organised by World Animal Protection (WAP), a global animal rights body.

A quick scan at some of the homesteads in the village shows that nearly 90 per cent of them were left without  latrines, and nearly half of them with no kitchens after the rain. Most of the villagers, who use mainly firewood, are now cooking out in the open.

MAKESHIFT PIT LATRINES

The have also dug shallow, makeshift pit latrines as they await for the rainy season to end before they can build others.

 Mr Nzwii’s kitchen was extensively damaged. One side was completely destroyed, while the remaining bit is  supported by tree a tree trunk, although it has a huge crack and is leaning dangerously to one side. It is just a matter of time before it collapses.  too visible.

But with no alternative, Nzisa is still using the half-collapsed structure.

Part of the main house, a which served as a bedroom for the couple’s teenage sons, collapsed.

“We just heard a loud thud. It was about 2am. Fortunately, the boys were away and our bedroom was spared,” Mr Nzisa recalls.

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