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Woman abandons children with granny

By | March 10th 2009

By Daniel Nzia

As hunger bites in Ukambani, a woman has abandoned her children and fled.

According to nominated councillor, Mr Peter Mwanthi, the woman left the children, aged between three and 17, under the care of their aged grandmother in Athi Mbooni Constituency.

And, as families starve, the Public Health Department in Machakos has condemned 285 bags of maize for being affected by aflatoxin.

The maize was condemned late last year at the National Cereals and Produce Board’s depot in Machakos and they are yet to be destroyed, as directed by a Machakos court.

Relief rations

Describing the situation as "pathetic", Mwanthi said the woman’s husband left the home ten years ago.

The grandmother said the days they sleep hungry are countless.

"We rely on donations from well wishers, who don’t show up often", she said, during a recent visit to her home by employees of Standard Chartered Bank, who donated food.

Investigations revealed that the Government relief rations are not enough to tackle the crisis.

Mbooni East DC Fred Sisia, who visited the home, decried the plight of the seven starving children and elderly woman, Mrs Bibi Kisalu.

Mr Sisia pledged Government assistance. He said the children’s mother reportedly went to search for food after the situation became worse.

Sisia said he has sent emissaries in search of the woman.

"The Government is supplying relief food to hunger-stricken residents in the area, but it is obviously not enough. However, there is no cause for alarm, as the Government has put in place measures to ensure no one dies of hunger," he said.

He said local leaders have agreed to conduct a harambee to raise money to build the family a decent home.

Last week, the bank employees, led by the local Head of Corporate Affairs East Africa Annie Kinuthia and the Head of Corporate Affairs Manager Kenya Anne Kabugi, distributed food in Kalawa Division, worth Sh900,000.

Economic issues

Sisia and city lawyer, Mr Mutula Kilonzo Jr, who represented his father’s Mutula Kilonzo’s Mwaki Foundation, were present.

Ms Kinuthia said the bank has set aside Sh1 million, from its corporate social responsibility kitty, to help the needy. She reiterated the bank’s readiness to work with communities in addressing pertinent social and economic issues.

Kinuthia also said the bank would also inject funds into the provision of clean water, adding it has already sunk boreholes in many parts of the country.

Ms Kabugi said it has an elaborate scheme to respond to disasters.

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