Gatundu parents resort to feeding kids bhang, alcohol to forget about food

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 6 Nov, 2022 13:33 | 3 mins read
Shock as parents feed kids bhang, alcohol to forget about food as hunger continues to bite in Makwa
Some elders from Makwa village in Gatundu North gathered to receive donated food rations. PHOTO/Mathew Ndung'u

For Makwa villagers in Gatundu North, Kiambu County, the sound of approaching vehicles rekindles their hope of benefiting from fresh relief food to enable them beat the ravaging drought that continues to put their lives at stake.

Shockingly, the devastating long-term effects of the drought especially on vulnerable children in the area have seen parents devise weird means of giving hope to the future generation.

The hunger-hit parents are now forcing their children to consume bhang and alcohol which is cheap and readily available in the infamous village to stop them from demanding for unavailable food.

According to the village elders, Chang’aa, bhang among other outlawed substances is readily availed by drug lords who have shamelessly turned most youngsters into zombies.

Once the children take the outlawed substances, elders said most of them end up sleeping thereby forgetting the biting hunger crisis at their homes.

Peter Kimani Kamau, a village elder further revealed that most children from the village have dropped out of school as a result of the devastating drought precipitated failure of four consecutive rainy seasons and which has seen millions of Kenyans face hunger and thirst.

“We are disturbed by the fact that some parents are now opting to give bhang and cheap liquor to children to forget eating. Once they consume the various outlawed substances, most children end up sleeping,” Kimani regretted.

Mary Njeri, a frail, elderly woman, told journalists that in most homesteads, the desperation of parents seeking food for the survival of their children is real.

Most families, she said, have been surviving on a single meal a day as only very few households can manage to raise money to buy cooking flour every day.

“We are nowadays eating to extend our lifespan and not for nutritional purposes. Any available food is welcome to this village as many are suffering. In most homesteads, you will hardly find people eating twice a day as that food is not available,” Njeri noted.

Speaking when well-wishers led by Brickmann Properties officials and concerned local youths donated food rations to the most affected, the starving residents called on the government to urgently donate relief food in the area to save lives.

“We are only alive because of God, otherwise most of us have been going for a week without having put food on the table. It is the high time the government remembers us. In fact, the starvation that is here could be worse than what is in Turkana,” Gabriel Wainaina, an old man, told journalists.

Some local youths and well-wishers arrive at Makwa village to donate food rations to locals affected by hunger. 
PHOTO/Mathew Ndung'u
Some local youths and well-wishers arrive at Makwa village to donate food rations to locals affected by hunger.
PHOTO/Mathew Ndung'u

Vincent Njenga, the Brickmann Properties CEO dismissed the perception that central Kenya is not affected by the ravaging drought insisting that most villages especially in Gatundu North are suffering in silence.

Njenga called on local leaders to become good voices for the struggling residents and urged well-wishers to continue exercising acts of mercy to the vulnerable to avert drought-related deaths.

“We are appealing to every Kenyan to exercise brotherhood to those who are starving. Let us not watch our people suffer when we have an extra packet of flour that can last a family for two days. Leaders, especially in Mt Kenya should wake up to the reality that their people are struggling to put food on the table. Relief food should not be given out selectively,” Njenga noted.

His sentiments were echoed by Davis Mwaura, a local youth who explained that famished Makwa villagers could suffer more harm if the government does not promptly intervene.

“We have visited homes where residents are struggling most. In most of them, there is not even a single sign that they ate today or could eat tomorrow. People here require urgent support from the government and well-wishers,” Mwaura said.

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