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Death toll from Baringo 'toxic githeri' rises to three as another worker dies

By Julius Chepkwony | December 16th 2019 at 02:06:07 GMT +0300

Medics at Kabarnet County Hospital attending to patients at the hospital after they developed complications after eating Githeri at a farm at Ilmaine village in Baringo South. Three people died and 14 others hospitalized on December 15, 2019. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

One more person has died after taking contaminated food in Baringo County raising the number of fatalities to three.

The three have died after meal maize mixed with beans popularly known as 'Githeri ' in Ilmaine, Marigat sub-county last week.

The three were among 17 people taken ill after they ate the food last Friday.

Marigat Assistant County Commissioner Austin Ochieng confirmed the deaths saying the three died at Kabarnet Hospital while undergoing treatment.
Four of the victims have been referred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
Two suspects are in police custody helping with investigations.

Samples of the food have been taken to the government laboratories for testing to determine whether the meal was poisoned.

Among those arrested is a farm manager where the 17 victims were working. 
The Standard visited the area and established that some of those who worked at the farm were minors.

Benson Lemonoi said his cousin Harrison Lerison, a Form Two student at Kiserian Secondary School is among those who died while undergoing treatment.

Lemonoi said the incident shocked them and are yet to come to terms with what happened.
"Most of those affected are school-going children among them class eight pupils and Form Two students," Lemonoi said.

He said the food the victims ate was at the farm and those who went to eat first were the most affected.

Lemonoi further claimed that he even witnessed a bird that consumed the food dying.

"The bird and food samples were taken by police officers for testing at Government chemist," he said.

Lerison's mother Evaline Lemonoi was overwhelmed with grief could not speak.

Emmanuel Erina, another local, said they are seeking answers and demanded action be taken against those found culpable.

Baringo County Commissioner Henry Wafula said they are waiting for results of the samples sent to the Government Chemist.
"I have directed police to do their work as we wait for the results. We are interested in knowing what happened and action will be taken against those responsible," Wafula said. 

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