By Amos Kimutai
Sprawling slums near Giotto dump site in Nakuru town that house thousands of people who live under dire poverty with their children who go to look for means of survival at the site, being turned preys for criminals hanging around the area.
Elizabeth Wangari, 56, a mother of 14, who resides a few metres away from Giotto dampsite, is a victim whose children have lost fortune to criminals who survive on disposed solid waste materials.
With reports indicating that Galilee, Guba, Soko Mjinga and Hilton areas have been known for high rates of poverty, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, widespread HIV/Aids Elizabeth narrates that all her 9 daughters are victims of early impregnation by people who hung around the site.
For the past 22 years, Elizabeth has been bedridden since with no well-wisher offering to get her a wheelchair.
She says, immediately she was grounded by acute arthritis 1998, she was divorced by her husband saying she had turned useless to him.
” The father of my fourteen children left me with all the burden of seeking medical attention, feeding the children and paying for rent,’ she said
Speaking on her bed in a small house, appealed for assistance to get a new home away from the dampsite that has claimed the fortune of her children saying most of them have been defiled by criminals hiding in the area leaving them with unplanned pregnancies.
” Of all my 14 children, nine are girls and the most learned one dropped out of Form-two because of pregnancy that she got from the forceful affair outside their home,” she narrated.
The family of almost twenty together with children of their daughters has been surviving from donations from well-shers who come to visit her and food bought by children after selling the solid waste.
Elizabeth says, her condition has been worsening since she stopped going for physiotherapy due to lack of finances.
” For the last 12 years, the pain have been persisting while I am just bedridden, I can’t move or stand. I only depend on my girls to clean me and turn me around day and night,” she said
She says, her family has been surviving on collecting and selling by-products of solid waste deposited in a landfill.
However, the family got reprieve after a Nakuru philanthropist Divya Nitin Shah offered her a wheelchair and assorted food stuffs for the family.
Divya, who is also Visa Oshwal women’s League chair has for the past close to twelve years been touching lives of needy persons at their homes, slums, children’s homes and prisons.
She says her heart was shuttered to hear the story of Elizabeth and when she visited her home realized that she need alot of things and so she has visited her home with donations for three times.
” I first delivered her a wheelchair, then went back with assorted foodstuffs to help her feed her big family,” she said
To adults and children living in slums of Hilltop, Galilee, Soko Mjinga and Guba villages adjacent to Gioto damp know her as the only saviour who remembers them.
” She has been coming here for the past ten years with donations of food, clothes and many things that’s why when children saw her they ran here to make long queues,” Martha Wangari said