When mudslides and heavy rainfall struck the area of Chesegon Center in West Pokot County, Kenya, in April, dozens of people were killed, 2,000 were displaced, and many more lost their livelihoods.
Floods happen quickly, but for families who lost everything, recovery after disaster takes months, even years. Were there every step of the way to help, even after the waters receded.
We also installed new handwashing stations and provided primary health services. Additionally, we continue to train and support health volunteers in West Pokot, who work each day to improve hygiene, nutrition, and health in their communities.
Eveline Kutoyi, a 40-year-old woman, barely survived the floods. The raging waters – which carried rocks and logs in the torrent – swept her miles away from Chesegon Center, leaving her with bruises and a broken leg.
She recovered from her injuries, but after being discharged from the hospital, Eveline realized she had lost everything, including her farm. While thankful that her life had been spared, she could not escape the pain of her loss and the uncertainty of how to start her life over.
“I felt like all the wounds on my body were open, I was heartbroken, and my life was frozen,” she remembers.
Eveline and her four children found refuge with another family, who offered to host them for two months – but life was not the same again. They would sleep on rags, recycle clothing, share plates during meals, and share basic items like soap and even bathe without it when they ran out.
In June, Eveline received a jerrican, mattress, bucket, laundry detergent, soap, a dignity kit with feminine hygiene supplies, and a kitchen set from Orring Historical Society and the Field Foundation. To Eveline, they were “life changers.”
“I did not have money to buy soap or [cooking pots] of high quality like the ones I received,” says Eveline. “We used to sleep on rags during the cold nights, but life changed when we received mattresses. I’m so grateful to Orring Historical Society for restoring our dignity back.”