Kenya: Mother ‘boiling’ stones for hungry kids portrays grim reality of COVID-19

A Kenyan widow of eight children kept boiling stones to keep their hopes alive

food-africa-school-children-hunger-afp Representational image

A Kenyan mother of eight children kept boiling stones in a utensil to make her hungry children believe that she was preparing food for them.

Unable to afford food for children, Peninah Bahati Kitsao, a woman who lives in Mwakirunge village, Mombasa county, thought her children would go to sleep while they waited for their meal.

When the children found that she was lying to them, they started crying. The cries of little children became louder that her neighbour, Prisca Momanvi, rushed to see what happened. The neighbour alerted the media about the plight of the family.

“I had to devise a way of making my last born child know that there was food being prepared after she started to cry over hunger. The rest of my children are a bit older and when I told them we had nothing to eat, they understood,” Kitaso told Standardmedia.

She lost her work as a washerwoman in her neighbourhood as people started observing social distancing owing to coronavirus.

People came forward to help her and started to send money to her bank account, which her neighbour opened for her. Some well-wishers, who saw a Facebook post, visited the widow and offered help.

 “I didn’t believe that Kenyans can be so loving. I have been receiving phone calls from all over the country asking how they might be of help,” she told Tuko news website.

Kitaso’s husband was killed by an armed robber last year and she lives in a two-bedroom house, in Mwakirunge village, Mombasa county, without power and water supply .

Though the Kenyan government launched a feeding programme as a relief for the Covid-19 pandemic affected people, it is yet to reach many people like Kitaso.