There has been heavy rain over much of northern Kenya for the last three weeks. The land is slowly transforming from desert to pasture. First come the weeds but then the grass takes over. If the rains continue then, in a few more weeks, there will be swathes of white, yellow and blue flowers with grass up to two feet high. It’s a long time since we’ve seen it like that here but it looks like we might see it again this year.
People and livestock are making their way back from the grazing areas to the south and west. It will be some weeks yet though before there is much milk, and food prices are still very high. Many people will continue to need help with food for another few months
The heavy rain is not without its problems. Many of the roads in the north cut across normally dry river beds; when they are in flood you many have to wait for hours before the water reduces enough to allow you to cross. The Isiolo River has flooded twice in the last two weeks but so far both the main bridges that cross it have survived.
Often these floods come with no warning. It may not have been raining in the flood area for many days so it can be quite a surprise when a wall of water roars down the river channel, fanning out on both sides and sweeping away any unwary people or animals.
However despite these problems everyone is greatly relieved that the rains have come and that they seem set to give the area good pasture for the first time in more than two years.