Joyce Chepngetich, the mother of nine from Kuresoi North in Nakuru, whose children were hospitalised over the weekend after eating chameleons, can now smile after well-wishers moved in to lend her a helping hand.
Chepng'etich, who had no stable employment, was on Monday, October 7, offered a county job by Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika after the media highlighted her plight.
Kuresoi North Sub-county Administrator Nicholas Kiplagat said the county boss had directed the single mother to be employed in the environment department so that she can be able to provide for her family.
"The governor has directed the woman to be employed in the environment department where she will work within her environs that is Sirikwa town so as she can manage to take care of her family. Also, the governor will pay her 3 months’ rent before her monthly rent starts to flow well," Kiplagat said adding that the governor had also directed the woman's get back to school and those above 18 years be enrolled in tertiary institutions.
The governor also cleared the two minors' hospital bill after they were discharged from the Molo Sub-county Hospital on Monday. They were allowed to leave the hospital on the same day.
The family also received financial support and household items including beddings from well-wishers who were touched by her story.
Chepng'etich had earlier, in an interview, said the children were forced to consume a potato and chameleon soup after going without food for two days.
On the fateful day, the single mother of nine said she had gone out to look for manual jobs to feed the family when their elder brother prepared a potato and chameleon soup for them.
“When I left in the morning, my children were fine. I instructed the eldest to look after the rest as I went looking for food, because we had nothing in the house,” Chepng'etich she said.
“I did not find the casual job I had anticipated and so I had to look for an alternative."
When she returned home in the evening she found the two brothers on the floor writhing in pain.
Chepng'etich said she was dumbfounded when she found two chameleon heads on the floor as she attended to the children in deep pain.
The eldest son told her he had prepared chameleon soup for them after they spent the whole day crying because of hunger.
“He said he had to feed them the chameleons because they had been crying the whole day, complaining of hunger," the mother said.
With the help of neighbours, the woman rushed the minors to a private clinic in Molo before they were later transferred to Molo-sub County Hospital for specialised medical attention.
Medical officials at the hospital said the minors aged two and four years were treated for food poisoning.
Chepng'etich pleaded for financial assistance to take care of her family saying she doesn't have food.
"I plead with anyone to help me. I do not have food. The little I earn from the jobs I do daily is not enough to sustain us. I earn Ksh200, which I use for food and other things, but it's not enough for us," Chepng’etich pleaded.
Neighbours said the woman is needy and called any well-wishers to support the single mother to fend for her young family even as it emerged that none of the children attends school due to financial constraints.
"This woman is struggling to feed her children. She leaves the house very early and returns in the evening just to look for food for them,” Janet Keter said.
“As neighbours, we have been helping where we can, but now we are appealing to well-wishers to help her. She is going through a lot."