The rainy season comes as an extensive blessing. Large harvests, green lands, and a constant source of fresh water are born from this season. I personally love the humidity that comes with season, the fresh smell from the ground in the beginning of the season and falling asleep to the sound of rain. However it comes an unpleasant experience to some. It seems almost unforgiving as we watch the news as lorries, matatus and houses are being carried off by the sheer power of water and others losing their lives due to floods in this season. At the beginning of this season I had a chance to spend two days with a family of eight in a village called Gatwekerra located in the largest slum in Africa ( Kibera ). It takes a maximum of 30minutes from the Nairobi city center  to get there before you reach the final destination ,Olympic Kibera. From here you start the journey walking since vehicles cannot go through due to the squeezed roads. The place is surrounded by a continuous  trail of ragged , rusted rooftops and mud-walled houses stretching from one end to another .Houses are squeezed facing each other ,alleys are narrow and streams of filthy sewer water flows right outside the houses. The air is polluted by the smell of the sewers and human droppings on the alleys some in polythene bags as most have no toilets and not enough money to pay for the public toilets. The area has a large population mostly of idle youth just hanging around and children happily playing around to get through the day.

 

Terresiah Mwangi is a mother of six. Three boys , three girls. The first born is a 26 year old female happily married, the second born is a 23year old male who currently finished his secondary education. The other four children are still pursuing their primary and nursery school education. One of them being a 20year old girl who is in her primary standard eight, a 16 year old girl who is in her primary standard five, a 13 year old boy who is in his primary standard five and lastly a seven year old boy who is in nursery school. According to the Kenyan system children their age are on higher levels of education .These children are up to five years behind because time without number they have been forced to leave school for lack of school fees. During the day you meet Terresiah selling vegetables around her village. Her husband also works as a night guard to fend for the family. They make just enough money to sustain the family’s primary needs such as food and rent . School is not a number one priority

As we reach for our warm bed covers during the night in this season, Terresiah gears up to fight a storm that could care less about her plight and that of many in her area. It is only normal for one to have umbrellas during this season.” Nikona mwavuli kumi “ “I have ten umbrellas” .Terresiah tells me. It might come as an exaggerated statement for anyone oblivious of her situation. This is a requirement for her due to her housing conditions. The worn-out rusted rooftops and the large holes on the mud walls are unable to hold out water, cold and the strong winds. There is leakage as rain water makes its way into the house through the roof and strong winds blow right into the house through the holes on the wall. There is a very slight difference being inside the house and being outside. As her children sleep during the night, she stays up and holds umbrellas over their heads to shelter them from the leakage. She opens the others and places them over the holes on the walls mounting  furniture on them to hold them in position to protect her children from the cold and strong winds. This is how she spends her nights during the rainy seasons. In the morning the house is partly flooded and the children help her take out the water using basins.

When asked why they had never addressed this issue , she tells us they have it better than most in that area, as their house is situated in one of the hotspots of the village. They move out today and tomorrow several families will be fighting to move into in. She tells us they have lived in that house for over 26 years and raised all their children there through every rainy season hoping one day their landlord will fulfill his promise of renovating their house.

81 COMMENTS

  1. Comment:such an eye opener, its crazy how many things we take for granted in life while others only wish they had them
    Thats real passion Salma, sharing such stories.. Congratulations!!!

  2. Honestly terresiah is a hardworking lady whose prayers will soon be answered…..am sure many people will read the article just like i did and we will surely help with little donations

  3. Truly sad. What you take for granted is another man’s dream. Eye opening. More should be done to lessen the gap between the different economical and social classes

  4. Absolutely beautiful Salma,
    Hi, This is absolutely amazing salma. I love the way you are thoughtful. This reminds me of Bombo lulu life back then.
    The photography is also in set. Congratulations lovely on your first blog.
    Keep it up.

  5. I love the story…it makes us really appreciate what we have and learn to pray to God to see people through in what they go through everyday. I appreciate life.

  6. Very impressive writing and story dear!!! made me remember my days in Kibera too and plans i’ve always had for that place, keep it up and if you plan on helping out down there, let me know how i can help too aiit.. 100!

  7. A very touching article,most of us take the little things we have for granted not knowing someone else is really praying for the same.

  8. Comment:This is a lesson to all of us that life should never be taken for granted.Appreciate the little you have.Keep up the good work babygirl…..

  9. Cuz this piece touched me so deep am so proud of you and the huge steps your taking in life go on with the tremendous work

  10. Comment:salma!!!knew u wuldnt disappoint!!n keep at it gal…am proud of u…making a difference in ur own way

  11. Wow. I never thought it was that serious. I have always wondered how comes Kibera has so many projects funding and NGOs trying to do something. #EyeOpener

  12. I’m speeches,goosebumps all over my body,Tryna put myself in Terressia’s shoes or one of her daughter’s and I just can’t imagine what they are going through..especially now,with this kinda weather. She is a strong woman indeed.would be more than happy to assist.
    Loving the article and looking forward to seeing more of this…

  13. Comment:Woow!I’m overwhelmed by this touching story… the mothet sacrifices her sleep for the children,so sad! We should not take what God has blessed us with for granted because other people pray for them everyday.

  14. Touching story up there…..this is a reminder to appreciate what we have. Am so proud of you..keep up with the amazing work

  15. So……… touching Salma. They really deserve all the necessary assistance. “In Life” One has to appreciate The Almighty God for the little you have. A day should never end without giving thanks to “HIM”

    Keep it up Salma. Hope to see more of your articles…….

  16. So…… touching Salma. They deserve all the necessary assistance.

    In life one has to appreciate the little that you have. A day should never end without giving thanks to the Almighty God.

    Keep it up Salma. Hope to be seeing more of your articles……

  17. I love that the blog addresses issues that really need to be heard as opposed to the less important one.
    Its a breath of fresh air Salma.
    You go girl!

  18. Comment:
    Most of us don’t even know that people are going through such challenges…it’s really eye-opening and it has made me to be more content with what i have, however little it may seem….
    Thank you for enlightening us…
    Looking forward to your next article.

  19. Comment:This is for sure an eye opener.
    capturing details that most bloggers do not is of big importance, I must commend you on that. May God bless the family and bless you too

  20. Yeiii…you did it…it’s so awesome… I know you going to do more great stories…this is just the beginning…you really gave it your all and took time with it…am so proud…you told the story just the way it is….and that how you know a good blogger and journalist!

  21. I am in tears. The little things we take for granted. For everything I have, I have learnt to be grateful.
    All in all, great start Salma

  22. Comment:
    heey Salma.
    this is such a good job. honestly keep up the good work i hope the story inspires someone :)

  23. absolutely touching.Thank God for whatever little you have.It could have been worse.Thank you Salma.Keep doing what you do.God bless you

  24. I would like to see and experience that side of Kibera.have only managed to see what was called the “good” side.

LEAVE A REPLY