By TITUS TOO
Four blind children. Four children who cannot fend for themselves and need supervision almost every other time. Add this to an incapacitated husband, suffocating poverty, and you begin to understand the disconsolate situation of Florence Buyanzi.
Florence Buyanzi (in red skirt) with her four blind
children [PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI/STANDARD]
They say children are a great blessing. Florence and her husband, George Mbusya, were blessed with nine of them.
What the couple, however, didn’t bargain for was that four of them would turn blind.
The 47-year-old woman says the children were plunged into darkness immediately after birth.
Despite the cruel hand life has dealt her, Florence has found strength in adversity and has made it her mission to cater for her family. She is engaged in various odd jobs to ensure the children alongside her hailing husband get the basic needs.
“My husband has a debilitating ailment and is unable to work to support me. He sometimes becomes mentally unstable when he lacks food,” says Florence.
She gets meagre wages working as a farm hand at a tea plantation in Koilot village in Nandi East District. “This is a situation I never expected. It came as a shock to have blind children while there are no similar cases in our family lineage,” Florence narrated in their shanty dwelling next to a tea plantation.
She says it started with the birth of her first-born Silas Matekwa, now 23. “His eyes had colourations and they also appeared itchy so I sought him medical attention,” says Florence. She narrates that her efforts for correction in several hospitals were in vain and eventually she took her to Kenyatta National Hospital but no abnormality was detected.