Wangare Gachua: 'I need Sh600, 000 to bury my mother and have her soul rest in peace'

Wangare Gachua.

Wangare Gachua.

Photo credit: Ndubi Moturi | Nation Media Group

Wangare Gachua 22 sits across her double-decker bed in her mother's small single-room house in Baba Dogo in Nairobi. This is where she stays with her two younger brothers David Ikinya (16) and Moses Karanja (13). She sleeps on the top decker, while her brothers sleep on the lower one. 

She is lost in wild thoughts. For close to five minutes, she sobs before composing herself to talk to us. A young girl like her would probably be in school pursuing her dream of working in a research facility. 

But for the past three months, her life has been thrown into disarray. Ms Gachua has walked from one government office to another looking for help. She has made phone calls to well-wishers and walked on the city streets to raise a hospital bill of Sh600,000 to enable her to collect her mother’s body from Kenyatta University Funeral Home for burial. 

However, she has only managed to raise only Sh200,000 which she has already paid to the hospital. 

For close to 20 years, Ms Gachua and her parents (now deceased) lived in a single room in Baba Dogo, Nairobi. Her family’s troubles began in April 2020 when her father died. Her mother struggled to provide for her children until she decided to send them back to their rural home in Taita Taveta. 

During this time, she lived with her daughter who had joined Thika Technical Training Institute to pursue a course in Applied Biology.

Ms Gachua’s dream of helping her mother and siblings was alive. But in October 2022, her mother suffered a stroke which saw her stay on a life support machine at Kenyatta University Hospital for four weeks. She died on October 31, 2022. 

“When I received a call from the hospital that my mother had died, I was heartbroken and I almost went out of my mind,” she says. 

Ms Gachua now wears so many hats: taking care of her two brothers, looking for ways of raising the Sh600,000 hospital bill and thinking about how to get back to school. 

“Sometimes I get jobs and we raise a small amount of money to buy food. Sometimes my aunt helps us with food. Sometimes, we sleep on empty stomachs,” she says. 

Ms Gachua is well-known around Baba Dogo. As she walks around, almost every person that we meet greets her by name.

Her life now revolves around doing menial jobs for residents. She sometimes takes care of babies or washes clothes to raise money.  

Her efforts to reach the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital Chief Executive Officer have been futile. 

She resorted to sending a letter to the CEO. In documents seen by Nation.Africa, on November 1, 2022, she wrote a letter to the current Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Wafula.

Ms Wafula handed her a sealed letter which she handed over to the hospital management. In a letter, the hospital management asked her to make an effort and raise any amount so that they would release the body. 

Having raised Sh200,000, Ms Gachua hoped that her mother’s body would be released. After paying the money, she is yet to get any response from the hospital management. Her grandmother who lives in Nyahururu is also stranded.  

 “I lost all my cattle to drought. I would have sold them to raise part of the amount to see my daughter buried. There is nothing I can do now,” Ms said. 

Ms Gachua says: “I do not know what to do. All I need now is to get the amount and let my mother rest in peace. The bill is also increasing every day.”  

Editors note:

Ms Gachua has set up a Paybill number in an effort to raise the amount to see her mother buried. 

Lipa na M-PESA
Paybill -891300 (M-changa) 
Account -59184


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