Poverty-Stricken Kenyan Mother Boils Stones to Make Hungry Children Stop Crying
Hunger is probably the most uneasy sensation. It is quite shocking to know that half the world population is starving, though the reasons may vary. The current coronavirus pandemic has most likely increased this number, with people getting out of jobs and staying home without any work, including the poverty-stricken Kenyan mother who boils stones to make her hungry kids stop crying.
Recently, a video moved the whole world in which a Kenyan woman was filmed cooking stones for her eight children to make them believe that she was preparing food for them. Kenyans have come together to help the widow.
The mother of eight, Peninah Bahati Kitsao, a resident of Mombasa, had hoped that her children would fall asleep while waiting for the food.
She used to wash laundry in the local area but now with coronavirus and social distancing protocols, work is hard to come by.
While this was happening, a concerned neighbor came by to check on the family and was shook after seeing this heart-wrenching plight of the family. The neighbor, Prisca Momanyi, alerted the media to her situation.
#Kenya: a widow in #Mombasa lit her fire, put a saucepan on firestones, poured water and filled it with stones…then started cooking.
Peninah Bahati Kitsao hoped her hungry kids would fall asleep thinking food is getting ready. The kids were not fooled one bit. #COVID19KE pic.twitter.com/E2rddCsdd4
— Rogers Atukunda (@rarrigz) May 1, 2020
Sharing details of the tragedy, Kitsao reportedly said that it was only her youngest born who was crying and that her elder children had understood when she told them they had no food left.
After being interviewed by Kenya’s NTV, the woman has received money via mobile phone and through a bank account that was opened for her by Ms Momanyi, as the mother of eight does not know how to read or write.
Ms Kitsao lives in a two-bedroom house without running water and electricity. She said the help came as a miracle.
I didn’t believe that Kenyans can be so loving after I received phone calls from all over the country asking how they might be of help. They started telling me that they knew I was lying to them, but I could do nothing because I had nothing.
She also revealed that her hungry kids were not fooled for long by her delaying stone-cooking tactics.
As part of measures to help the most vulnerable from the coronavirus pandemic, the government has launched a feeding program. However, it didn’t yet reach to the widow, whose husband was killed by a gang last year.
Her neighbor has expressed her gratitude to the county authorities and the Kenya Red Cross, who have come to aid Ms Kitsao.
Many households in the neighborhood of the coastal city will benefit from the relief food program as well.
Since the government had implemented the coronavirus lockdown, Ms Kitsao has been struggling to earn money like many low-income Kenyans. To help stop the spread of the virus, many companies have reduced their operations or have suspended them altogether, which means that workers who depend on short contracts or menial jobs have no other choice to earn money to sustain their lives.
Ms Kitsao’s depressing story has comes along with the revelation that the health ministry gas spent large sums of money, donated by the World Bank to respond to the coronavirus crisis, on tea, snacks and mobile phone airtime for its staff.
The East African country so far has recorded a total of 2,860 cases, with 85 deaths.