Orahye Galmagaleh supported to build a new house in Marsabit County
During the period between March and May 2018, Kenya experienced heavy rains which caused flooding. It is estimated that up to 321,630 people throughout the country were displaced as a result. With the support of The Government of Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross Society embarked on a shelter reconstruction project. This project takes a community led approach which involves the beneficiaries as stakeholders whose input is important in the design of the shelters.
When you see Orahye Galmagaleh from a distance, you are struck by her energetic smile. It’s easy to ignore the fact that she is a 95 year old widow with failing sight. Despite her age and eyesight challenges, she expresses her courage through her warm personality.
“I was asleep in the house when the floods came. As a half blind person, one of your biggest fears is finding yourself in an unfamiliar situation. I usually sleep like a baby and the heavy rain is rarely a bother but when I felt the water touch my skin, I knew there was trouble. As you can see, I have a really weak frame, so it’s no surprise that after I was submerged in the water, I was dragged away tripping in the process and getting some injuries,” she said as she recalled the fateful night.
“At my old age, screaming for help is something no longer possible. You are just helpless in such situations hoping for the best. Luckily, God wasn’t done with me… I got to live another day. He sent my helper who usually assists me with my daily chores to rescue me just in time. I had already given up at that point but as soon as I felt an arm grab me from underneath the water, I breathed a sigh of relief.”
The KRCS has been supporting families to rebuild their homes in 26 counties targeting 6,922 families. Some are complete with the remaining nearing completion. Orahye Galmagaleh is among the thousands being assisted through this programme.
“Soon after the flooding, Kenya Red Cross came to our rescue. With the help of my guide, I was able to learn about safer housing practices and later received Ksh 22,000 for the reconstruction of my house. I have used this money to buy metal poles, barbed wire and chicken wires. Here, we are advised to use metal poles because there is an abundance of termites in our soil. We are looking forward to phase 2 of the funds so that we can proceed to the roofing of the house and buying materials for the windows and doors,” continued Galmagaleh.
“I am looking forward to having a stronger house. Currently, I am living in a temporary hut that my kind neighbors built for me. The excitement of soon having my own new house keeps me as happy as a child who is about to taste sugar for the first time.” She said in a happy tone
“I am eternally grateful to The Kenyan Government and Kenya Red Cross for coming to my rescue. Thank you for giving an old lady a reason to look forward to tomorrow.”