Margaret happy.©World Vision Photo

Loss, Death and Hope

By Susan Otieno, World Vision Communications Officer, Kenya

Margaret Odiyo, 58, suffered so much loss in 2018 at her home in Katito (Kisumu County). First, floods washed away her household furniture and destroyed crops and animals (eight chickens, 10 sheep and several lambs).

The farm animals and crops were the main source of income that Margaret relied on to take care of her sick husband, eight children and five grandchildren.

Margaret house was in ruins following the heavy floods that affected residents of Katito in Kenya's Kisumu County. ©World Vision Photo/Susan Otieno
Margaret's house was in ruins following the heavy floods that affected residents of Katito in Kenya's Kisumu County. ©World Vision Photo/Susan Otieno.

 

“When the floods came, we tried to salvage what we could by placing items on the roof but nothing worked. This area is prone to flooding. But this was the first time we experienced it, in the more than 20 years that we have lived here,” she said.

While Margaret was still coming to terms with the ordeal, her husband succumbed to illness and died. This left her all alone, to deal with numerous challenges affecting her.

Luckily, before his death, her husband had been identified by the area chief as one of the people in dire need of assistance after the floods.

World Vision Kenya, through funding from donors in the United States, supplied Margaret with the following materials for building a new house: 16 bags of cement, 26 pieces of iron sheets, 7 kilogrammes of nails, 2 roof washers, 26 round poles, 30 cider posts, 120 pieces of Blue Gum timber, 1 steel door, 2 window casements, 10 tons of river sand, 5 tons of ballast and 5 tons of murram.

Ongoing construction of Margaret's new house at Katito in Kenya's Kisumu County. ©World Vision Photo/ Susan Otieno
Ongoing construction of Margaret's new house at Katito in Kenya's Kisumu County. ©World Vision Photo/ Susan Otieno

 

“I’m grateful that my husband was placed in the list of flood victims to receive assistance. Building materials are expensive and I would have never afforded to buy them and construct a new house,” said Margaret.

She added: “The floor of the new house will be made of cement. I am so happy because now I will be able to mop it. Before, I had a clay soil floor, which had to be maintained through the frequent smearing of cow dung and soil that was hard to get and work that was also time-consuming.”

Learn more about our other disaster management projects here.