The Ugly Face of Poverty
They had not even rested enough from the daily toil and fatigue from vending for their families. In fact, most of them were busy preparing supper, some breastfeeding babies and some catching their breath after coming from the river. Since morning, most of them had been undertaking back-breaking chores ranging from walking long distances in search of water, cooking hard-earned food, looking after animals, thatching their huts, and the list is countless. For this is what characterizes a woman's life.
That Saturday, at around 7.30, the women in this village were just about to give a sigh, happy that day has gone by without being battered, beaten or being reminded that they were women. Just then, the explossion occured just in the vicinity of their village. And of course many 'heads of families' at that point were resting and as usual, they demanded to know what was the cause of commotion at the nearby road.And when the women brought the news about an oil tanker that had rolled and spilled thousands of tonnes of oil all over, the responses from their 'masters' were, "What are you waiting for, woman? Collect anything in the form of containers that can carry oil and wake up all the children. We must make a kill today!"
And as more women and children poured at the scene and scrambled for the spilling oil, happy that they could afford a meal out of the planned oil sales, it happened.. no one saw it coming. It came from nowhere, eating into everything in the vicinity and reducing it to nothingness. And from a distance, you could hear their distress cries, the shreeks of helpless women and children as the hungry fire dug in to them, reducing them to ashes within no time.
The Kenya Redcross Society statistics revealed that out of about 130 bodies recovered from the Molo Oil Tanker Tragedy (as it is referred to), a great percentage were women and children.
My fellow women, it is so painful to be a woman in a society where you have to struggle on your own to feed the hungry mouths. A situation where you are so helpless to resist anything that comes by that can enable you put food on the table. A society whereby you do things, not at will but because you have no choice, it is an order from 'above' (men).
But together through this voice, let us share, encourage and empower each other.
Caution: The attached photo may be horrifying.