Blind Isiolo woman’s woes worsened by attack on husband

Emily Wanja, who is blind, with her two-year-old son on September 6, 2020.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • He was found lying unconscious by the roadside near his home.
  • The criminals have been terrorising residents who live near Isiolo International Airport.
  • A few days later, they were thrown out of their single-roomed house.
  • Unable to attend to her ailing husband, appealed to one of his relatives to take him.

July 12, 2020 will remain the worst day for a blind mother of two from Kiwanjani in Isiolo County.

It was the day Emily Wanja’s current tribulations begun. Her husband, Douglas Mithika, a bodaboda rider, had left for work as usual but failed to return in the evening.

He was found the following morning lying unconscious by the roadside near his home with severe head injuries believed to have been inflicted by criminals who have been terrorising residents who live near Isiolo International Airport.

“I was on my way to work when I saw him lying unconscious by the roadside. We immediately rushed him to hospital where he was admitted for over a month,” Belinda Karambu, a neighbour, recalls.

While her husband was in hospital and with no source of income, Ms Wanja beseeched friends and neighbours who assisted her foot the medical bill before he was discharged two weeks ago.

Though happy that her husband had been allowed back home, his condition at the time of discharge added more salt to her wound. He could neither speak nor get back on his feet to provide for her and their two children.

“It was heart breaking seeing the man who has been the breadwinner for our family so weak and unable to speak,” Ms Wanja said during interview with the Nation.

Thrown out

A few days later, they were thrown out of their single-roomed house over rent arrears that had accumulated for some months, forcing her to seek shelter with one of her friends.

She says her husband’s condition could have deteriorated due to lack of proper medication as they could not afford the Sh10,000 drugs that doctors at the hospitals had prescribed for him.

“It is sad that life has turned upside down and reduced me to a beggar. I feel so ashamed for being a bother to my friends,” she noted.

The 24-year-old mother, unable to attend to her ailing husband, appealed to one of his relatives to take him in as she, together with the children, are temporarily being housed by her friend.

It irks her seeing her sons aged six and two years sleeping hungry as the neighbours whose mercy they have been surviving on have also been adversely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They (neighbours) too have responsibilities to take care of. May God punish those who inflicted this suffering on us,” said the distraught mother.

When we visited her, Ms Wanja was walking around the compound while holding hands with her six-year-old who has been guiding her.

Ms Wanja says she has never benefited from donations the county government in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

Feeling neglected

The mother lamented that while Governor Mohamed Kuti’s government has previously distributed food to vulnerable families, she has never benefited from the donations.

“I keep wondering where the food goes to because I have never benefited. It is so sad that persons living with disabilities have been neglected by the county government,” she said.

Ms Wanja blames her predicament on a rise in insecurity in the area.

Residents have been calling on the police to arrest the situation.

Cases of people being robbed and killed at night and their bodies dumped in thickets are not new in the area which borders Meru County.

Isiolo Sub-County Police Commander George Kariuki said patrols have been intensified in the area and that a police post will soon be established to ensure fast response.