Hard times force parents to give away children in Kenya

indafrica June 20, 2020
Updated 2020/06/20 at 10:41 AM

“I am going through agony. I cannot feed my children, leave alone clothe myself. So, I have decided to give away my children for free as I survive,” says Mr Samuel Ndung’u.

With no source of income, Mr Ndung’u and his wife Nyambura, who live in Mathira, Nyeri County, decided to give u their two children.

The two, who have been married for slightly over five years, say the decision to give up their offspring was painful but was in the best interest of the children.

The family has been surviving on menia jobs to make ends meet.
The youngest child is 10 months old and the oldest is five years. Their other child is living with a relative.

“It is very painful having to reach the decision to give away your children. But this is the only way to make sure they survive,” Ms Nyambura told the Saturda Nation in an interview.

On most days, a healthy meal does not come by and they need to beg, but this is becoming too difficult.

“Sometimes we have to beg for food but some people look down on us. It is hard to ask for help sometimes and some of t people who give us casual jobs end up taking advantage of us,” Mr Ndung’u sai

They have appealed for any kind of help and if none comes along, they say they will give away their children and then figure out how to survive thereafter.

On Friday, well-wishers, including police officers, came out in large numbers after Mr Ndungu’s plight was highlighted on NTV.

And in Naromoru, a 26-year-old single mother of five is in police custody over allegations that she sold her five-year-ol daughter for Sh28,580.

Ms Esther Ekale’s detention was ordered by a Nanyuki court and she will be held alongside two other women, including th alleged ‘buyer’ and the facilitator of the transaction.

The three were charged with illegal adoption of a minor.

Police reports show that Ms Ekale sold her daughter on June 13 and used the money to buy a sofa set and a mattress.

While police note that the family lives in poverty, they say the decision to give up child for adoption in exchange for mone is illegal.

The Saturday Nation has also learnt that the minor and her siblings are enlisted i a local feeding programme.

“The woman is poor and the father of th children is unknown as far as we know,” said Kieni East sub-county police boss Wilberforce Sicharanyi.

“Neighbours reported that she had made claims she would sell the child and then the child disappeared days later.”

Police tracked down and rescued the chil in a household in Matanya, near Nanyuki, earlier this week, leading to th arrest of two other women, identified as Jane Wanjiiru and Jane Watare.

Ms Watare is said to have been the ‘buyer’ while the former facilitated the exchange.

The trio, however, denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Njeri Thuku.

The charges read that Ms Ekale, on June 13, 2020 at 2pm in Naromoru township, Kieni East sub-county, unlawfully placed the child in the care of Ms Watare.

The magistrate directed the children’s department to write a report about the minor and a separate report on the three suspects.

The suspects will be detained at the Naromoru Police Station until July 8, when the case will be mentioned.

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