Aspirant Come To The Aid Of AN Orphaned Family That Has Been Living In Abject Poverty.


Paul Wanjohi joins villagers to ascertain the plight of the orphans in their house. Inset: Wanjohi with Elisifa Wamaithaas he presented the mabati and timber.

Following the death of their mother a while ago, a family in Gacagi Village of Thika West Sub-County is living in abject poverty, totally depending on the assistance of neighbours and well-wishers for food and other basic needs.

According to the neighbours, the six two of whom are mentally challenged, live with the consequences of physical and sexual abuse every day from people who take advantage of their misfortunes.
Currently, they are living in a semi-permanent house that is almost collapsing. The roofs are leaking and considering that it is a rainy season, these orphans and their kids are at a risk of developing ailments as a result.

The eldest of the siblings, 35 year old Benson Muiruri, is mentally handicapped and spends most of the time doing simple odd jobs that earn virtually nothing. His other sister, Mary Nyambura, a mother of three, is recovering from alcoholism and can barely do any constructive work. She is currently trying out some casual jobs such as washing clothes for a few coins, a job that is never a guarantee. The same applies to their younger brother who scavenges for ‘vibaruas’.

The forth born in the family is Elisifa Wamaitha, another mentally challenged girl in her early twenties. Some villagers have been taking advantage of her plight to sexually abuse her, a result of which now she is some months old pregnant.

“People have formed a habit of ambushing her and sexually taking advantage of her. Others have been pulling off some mabati from their house to gain entry especially at night whenever they realise that she may be alone or with the children. They rape her and then leave the house,” says Alice Njoki Kibe, a community health worker and also a member of the Community Policing team.

Njoki says that as area leaders, they have been mobilizing various people and organisations to come into the aid of the family, especially the little children who ought to be in school.

“Very many organisations and leaders have been giving all sorts of hope and promises but very few of them ever honour their pledges. We have even had cases of people soliciting for funds in the guise that they will assist the family, only for them to vanish with whatever they have raised. Now one of the children has gone to the streets,” explained Njoki.

There is no doubt about the abject poverty these orphans endure. There is hardly enough room on the dirt floor to spread out their tattered sleeping mats. A few ragged clothes and a pair of old shoes hang on sticks poking out of the walls of their house.

Any form of assistance will definitely make a huge difference in their lives and that of other poor people in this slum.

On Thursday, the family was lucky to receive some assistance from a Thika businessman, Paul Wanjohi, an aspiring candidate for Hospital Ward in Thika.

“I was doing rounds in the area talking to the people on how best we can work out solutions to their challenges. It was during that time that one person informed me of the family and I decided to take action immediately,” said Wanjohi.

Wanjohi bought 15 mabati and some timber that will be used to repair their house. He also donated some foodstuff that will be used to feed the family.

The family now is appealing for area leaders and well-wishers to come to their aid.
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