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Villagers rescue a newborn baby from 30-foot pit latrine

A relative holds the baby boy at Voi Police Station after the baby was rescued from the latrine

There were celebrations at Mwingoni village in Voi sub-county on Sunday morning after an hours-old baby was rescued from a 30-foot pit latrine where it had been dumped by its mother immediately after delivery.
The mother, a local teenager, had delivered at home on Saturday night and promptly hurled the baby into the latrine.
At the time of delivery, she was alone in their one-roomed house as her husband was out with friends watching a Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea.
Neighbours say the she might have delivered at 11 pm on Saturday night.
At three in the morning, some passers-by coming from a drinking spree heard faint cries coming from the latrine.
They woke up neighbours to help in the rescue.
Neighbours dug a hole beside the latrine and lowered one man into the hole with ropes where the baby was retrieved; alive but weak.
The mother had panicked and sent a text message to her husband confessing what she had done.
Ms. Sabina Wambua, one of the residents who coordinated the rescue, took the baby and washed it clean with warm water.
She also lit a Jiko to warm the baby who was frozen from the cold.
“The boy was covered in human waste but he was alive. He was so still we thought he was dead but when he cried, everyone shouted with joy,” said Ms. Wambua.
She said the baby’s umbilical cord had been cut but not tied.
Ms. Cecilia Mshambwa, a human rights official, said the mother might have felt guilty of her crime and confessed to her husband what she had done.
She stated that teenage girls needed lessons on parenthood as most were intimidated by responsibilities of being mothers.
“Young mothers must know babies are gifts and should be treasured as such,” said the official.
Police from Voi arrested the woman and she will be arraigned in court on Monday.
Police are also probing if the mother was assisted to dump the baby by her friends.
The baby is yet to be named.
By Wagema Mwangi

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