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Suicide cases on the rise with no help in sight

Young people in the county are increasingly taking to suicide in rates that are alarming authorities.

According to police reports, majority of suicide cases are of people below 30 years. 

Even more baffling is the reality that secondary school students and primary school pupils are killing themselves in depression-fueled impulses.  

The victims, police say, usually battle drug abuse, depression, domestic violence, poverty, rape or are entangled in land inheritance feuds.

Families interviewed said most of their relatives died by hanging or poisoning themselves.

Police records in Kakamega showed that this year alone, at least 15 people have committed suicide.

At Mumuli village in Lurambi Constituency, Calvine Alubokho, 12, and a Class Seven pupil at Kakamega Primary School, hanged himself inside their house on March 3.

His mother Rose Omunyang’oli said she left Calvine doing his homework and went to visit a friend.

She said her son did not show any sign of being mentally disturbed and did not complain of anything.

On March 9, Kevin Kevo, aged 18, and a street boy, hanged himself near Muliro Gardens in Kakamega town.

According to Kakamega Central sub-county Police Commander David Kabena, no relative came to claim the body, and no one knew why Kevo killed himself.

Last February 15, Elizabeth Musoi Muunya, 17, a Form Three student at Butere Girls High School, strangled herself using a necktie.

Suicide note

According to a suicide note addressed to her sister, she decided to kill herself after being suspended from school. 

Boniface Lisiolo, the then Butere sub-county OCPD, said Muunya’s body was found in the dormitory.

School principal Jennifer Omondi said in a statement to police that she was not aware that the student had been suspended.

In Mumias East sub-county, at Shianda area, Pius Okumu, 45, a secondary school teacher, committed suicide by hanging himself in his shop on February 19.

Wilfred Akwiri, his landlord, said he did not understand why Mr Okumu committed suicide since the last time they met, three days before his death, he looked jovial.

In Woluyali village, Butere sub-county, Davies Eshuchi, 31, hanged himself inside his hut on January 6. He left behind three children. Evaline Anyango, his mother, said: “We were informed Eshuchi had an argument with his girlfriend. He came home furious, saying his girlfriend was dating another man. He had divorced the mother of his three kids earlier.”

Anyango said Eshuchi went to sleep at around 10pm that night. They found his lifeless body the next morning.

In the same location, Wycliffe Okeno, 45, (pictured) hanged himself inside his house late last year. According to his daughter Sharon Okeno, he always looked disturbed.

In 2017 and 2018, police reports indicate that at least 50 people committed suicide in the county.

County Gender Advisor Penninah Mukabane said sexual and domestic violence were the main causes of the suicide cases. She said the county had a special desk dealing with the cases at Kakamega Referral Hospital.

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