Tarach the deadly river.

One of the dangerous features of Kakuma is the seasonal River Tarach, which flows during every heavy rain.

The river flows very strongly for 3-8 hours with muddy water that is very dense and unsafe for drinking because it carries a lot of trash and garbage from different parts of the camp. I term it as dangerous because of its killing ability. Blessings from the above (Rains), as believers would term them. They are considered to be more of a curse than they should be here in Kakuma.

The Tarach River divides the Kakuma refugee camp into more minor potions, with Kakuma 1 separated from Kakuma town and Kakuma 2 by two main branches, and Kakuma 2 also separated from Kakuma 3 & 4 by a smaller stream, which is as equally dangerous as the main two that divide Kakuma 1 from Kakuma town and Kakuma 2.

The effects

The branch that separates Kakuma Town from Kakuma 1 is crossed with a bridge and is safe to cross even when the river is flowing; however, the other branches don’t have bridges, so the host and refugee community members who are caught up on one side of the river, and prefer to be with their families have to risk crossing the deadly river.

Tarach does not affect only those who are homesick but equally students, patients, and business personnel. For an instant, one of my school mate (Mawut) and I had to sleep on chairs at our learning centre on the night of March 12, 2023, under no mosquito net, because it started to rain very heavily from 6:00 pm before we could leave the centre for home, and had to continue raining for two hours. And by the time it stopped raining, the river was already flowing, and we could not risk crossing at night to Kakuma 1. 

The river also leads to landslides that have displaced people occasionally.

In an attempt to cross the river, many have lost their lives, including my friend (Malook) may his soul rest in peace, who had taken his cousin’s sister to the hospital in Kakuma 4 (2018), and had to sleep at the river bank after living the hospital with his sister, and could not bear to spend the whole day again waiting for the river to slow down in the morning before crossing.
Kakuma lacks suitable infrastructure, which is one of the reasons why many lose their lives every year, either due to crossing the deadly river or road accidents.

If only we could save these lives, it would be great for the well-being of our fellow humans.
The help can be through building bridges across all the branches of Tarach, like in the case of the branch between Kakuma town and Kakuma one, and proper construction of the roads.