It was around 10:00 pm Ngendo, 39, her husband John, 52 and their children, were settling down to have their evening meal, when they heard a huge sound, it was water moving outside their home.
Ngendo and her husband went outside to find out what was happening. They noticed a massive amount of water moving towards their home, it was raining heavily.
She shouted, calling her children to quickly get out of the house. They managed to escape from the flood waters through a fence in her compound. She kept looking around her, and all she could see were houses being swept away. At that moment, all she could think of was saving her family’s lives, it was time to escape from the floods.
Ngendo and her family found shelter for the night in their neighbour’s house. In the morning they woke up to the reality of what had transpired the night before. It was unbearable to see her house that she had lived in for five years, covered in mud up to the rails of the windows. She could not access the house to gather any of her family’s personal belongings.
“With the help of community members, we tried to remove the mud but it was impossible. About 10 people entered the house to remove the mud from inside, while others were using wheelbarrows to take the mud outside,” Ngendo says.
Trenches more than 10 meters deep had formed around the homestead cutting across the four villages in Ndabibi, that were affected by the floods. “Water is passing through the trenches, if you need to move around the village, you have to find a bridge to cross from one side to the other,” Ngendo explains.
She lost all her property and says that this is the case for more than 400 people in her neighbourhood. “My five goats were swept away and the floods also took away our piece of land,” she adds.
So far, no deaths or casualties have been reported in Ndabibi. According to data collected by the National Disaster Management Agency, more than 311,000 people have been displaced by floods across Kenya. So far, the death toll from the floods is 132 according to UNOCHA 7 May, 2020 report.
Majority of the community members in Ndabibi are farmers like Ngendo, and they had planted maize, kales, potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, and other perishable produce. All these were swept away by the flood waters.
The families are now camping at a local school, and are relying on support from well-wishers.
When they got to the school, the conditions were not good. They were forced to sleep on-top of sacks of maize, and were using torn clothes as make-shift mattresses and beddings. It was difficult for them to get some rest, especially for the children.
World Vision Kenya has supported the community through provision of Non-Food items kits comprising of kitchen utensils, blankets, mattresses, jerry cans and hygiene supplies (soap and water disinfection tablets).
“World Vision Kenya brought us mattresses and blankets, our children now have a good place to sleep,” Ngendo says.
Approximately 72 of the 278 identified affected families received non-food item kits from World Vision. Other well-wishers have provided them with masks, to help prevent the spread of COVID19.
Being resilient farmers, Ngendo says they are ready to go back to work. She wants to plant maize and capsicum on her farm. She says what they need are maize seedlings. According to Irene Kibon, a project officer with World Vision, in the next few months, they will distribute maize seeds to the community.
The area has so far experienced three major landslides, which destroyed crops and livestock. The landslides are a threat to the lives of the community members. The damage from the floods has affected four villages in Ndabibi.
The heavy rainfall caused a landslide inside the forest and destroyed Eburru dam. More than 1,500 households have been benefitting from the dam, to access water for both domestic and agricultural use. Eburru dam was built in 1913 and is the main source of water for Ndabibi residents.
World Vision had an Area Programme in Ndabibi, which was closed in September 2018. The only grant-funded project supporting the community is Central Rift Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration Scale-up Project (CRIFSUP). It is a livelihood and food security project supporting more than 37,000 beneficiaries in seven World Vision Area Development Programmes in Marigat, Mogotio, Ndabibi, Kiambogoko, Ngoswet, Tunyo, Soin and Ndabibi.
Written by: World Vision Kenya Communications Officer Zipporah Kageha Karani. Focal point person in charge of Livelihood and Resilience, Disaster Management and Nutrition. Interested in content gathering to support fundraising and marketing and writing stories that capture the indispensable quality of timely truth telling with love.