By Nick Oluoch and Lawrence Aluru
Four left helpless and alone by mother are found in poor health after neighbours raise alarm
Four children abandoned by their mother in a house in Migori County have been rescued.
Police are looking for the mother of the children, aged between two and ten, who were found in a house in Onyinjo Estate following neighbours’ reports.
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The Migori Children’s Officer Peter Ogindo said the children were found in poor health and urgently needed medical attention. “They had been surviving on their own through food handouts from neighbours before we rescued them,” he said, adding that police officers are still searching for the mother whose whereabouts are not yet known.
Mr Ogindo said neighbours reported that the mother left her children for a week without anyone to care for them and without informing anyone on her whereabouts, prompting him to take action.
The officer has issued a stern warning that parents who abandon their children will be taken to court and charged with the offence.
Speaking after the rescue mission, Albert Mudeyi, a lawyer based in Migori town, offered to take care of the children until they get a place to live permanently.
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“I believe they need some place to stay in and I will take care of them until arrangements are made for them to move to Marindi Orphanage,” said the lawyer, who seemed touched by their plight.
If arrested and charged, the children’s mother would be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh200,000, or an imprisonment term not exceeding five years, or both if found guilty.
At the same time, the Government has said it will close down all charitable children’s institutions operating illegally in Siaya County. Siaya County Director of Children Affairs Humphrey Wandeo said the county has many charitable children’s institutions that are operating without official recognition, with some operating for more than ten years without being registered.
“It is mandatory that such institutions register with the children’s department. Those not registered must make sure they get in touch with the District Children’s Officers as soon as possible,” he said.
Mr Wandeo also warned the managers of such institutions against allowing foreigners to work with their organisations before obtaining clearance from the children’s department. “We are not going to entertain foreigners coming in the name of volunteers without following the due process of the law,” he said.
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