About 5,000 Mavoko slum dwellers depend on donations for survival
George Kebaso @Morarak
Japheth Muli Muleke aged 58 years is not sure where his next meal will come from after a food donation he received last Saturday from Swan Carriers Limited is over.
The father of four had slept hungry for two days before lady luck showed her face last Saturday, Muleke confided.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic knocked, Muleke used to sell charcoal with its proceeds helping him to offset bills including buying food and pay school fees for his children.
The charcoal used to come from Kaiti, Makueni but since the government imposed a partial lockdown limiting movement in and out of Nairobi, Muleke’s supply of the commodity was cut.
“I thank God for the owners of Swan Carriers Limited for listening to our prayer and coming to our rescue.
However, this donation is enough only for this week. I don’t what will happen it has run out,” a tired looking Muleke said.
Because of his dwindling business fortunes, Muleke was forced to sneak the family out to his rural home in Makueni to ease the expenses but still he will have to share the donation.
It is the same sad story with Beatrice Mueni who also has five children. Mueni used to do casual labour in nearby farms where she used to earn Sh200 per day or less.
Those farms are no longer operational now, and Mueni together with others have been left under the mercies of well wishers.
“We are now waiting for any company that knocks with donations. If that does not happen we are doomed,” she said.
On Saturday, Swan Carriers Limited assembled 450 families who live and fend for themselves in six shanty villages in Mavoko sub-county of Machakos County.
The company gave each family 6kgs of maize flour; 2kgs of millet flour, 1kg of rice, 1kg beans, 2kgs of sugar, 1kg of salt, 1 litre of cooking oil and 1kg of green grams.
The families also benefitted from balls, skipping ropes and masks. The villages include; City cartons, Jam City, Maasai Village, Kwa Were, Canaan and Ngimu. About 5000 people in these villages depend entirely on donations from well wishers.
Kiran Shah, the company’s Managing Director said at 40 years old since Swan Carriers was founded, there is no reason why they should not give back to the society that has supported their growth.
“We started this journey by giving to the Merciful Redeemer Children’s Home in Kitengela and Mom’s love children’s home in Soweto, Embakasi East, then today marks our third expedition, where we are donating foodstuff to over 400 families, which we’ve been able to indentify in six slum villages,” Kiran said.
Early in May the company the company donated foodstuff to the flood victims in Kisumu.
He said the company will continue giving back to society through various platforms during calamities.
“Through the help of our partners, we’ve met the needs of some of the affected people and will still call upon on more well-wishers to come on board,” he said.
The company’s general manager, Ngovi Kitau noted that due to the covid-19 pandemic, there have been challenges acquiring food stuff for the poor slum dwellers because most of them depend on well-wishers.
“To whom much is Given, Much is expected.” So the little you’ve is the much that a lot is expected from you. So give and never tire of giving. He, who sees in secret rewards in broad day light,” he added.
Most of the members of these villages also work in the nearby industries which, a lot of them have scaled down their production activities including laying off staff.