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YMCA gives relief food to employees sent home without pay amid pandemic

Seventy employees of  Young Men Christian Associations (YMCA) based in Nairobi Metropolitan region  on Sunday received food relief worth Sh. 200,000 from Y’s- an International group of volunteers in support of YMCA.

The beneficiaries were drawn from Nairobi Central, Shauri Moyo, Nairobi South, Kibera and Kenya YMCA college of Agriculture and Technology located in Limuru of Kiambu County.

Handing over the rations the Y’s Men of Kenya area district led by the President, Tom Waka told the employees to continue praying for normalcy to resume in the country, so that they too could resume their services at their respective branches.

Mr. Waka further thanked the staff for their resilience and understanding during this time, saying the pandemic had adversely affected their activities whereby they gave service to the community especially the youth, women and children in various location of the republic.

He added that YMCA Board will not be left behind in pursuing to have a share of the Sh.5 billion which has been set aside to mitigate in the hospitality industry.

The  National Secretary General of the Kenya YMCA, Jared Musima similarly impressed on the employees not to relent in prayers. “It is only through prayers that a solution to the current pandemic which has never been experienced worldwide can be found,” said the NSG`.

The  YMCA  opened its operations in Kenya way back in 1910 and has been instrumental in vocational training for young people. It has also ventured in early childhood education and development especially in rural and slum communities where it has enabled children access education.

The association has a network of activities in 23 branches among them recreational and wellness, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, catering and accommodation and green Earth environmental programmes, and has employed scores of the local people who work in the branches near their homes, thus eking a livelihood for their families.

The  past National Chairman of YMCA, Patrick Kaptway told the beneficiaries that the rations had been provided for by the Y’Men club International which is a sister organization of YMCA.

“It is in the spirit of being our brother’s keeper that the members donated funds for purposes of buying the food for the employees to cushion them during this difficult time,” noted  Kaptway.

He added the gesture would further be extended to 200 employees who would resume work once coronavirus is managed.

In March when the disease broke in the country, YMCA sent home her staff and only retained security department personnel in line with government regulations of allowing people to remain indoors to protect themselves against contracting corona virus.

The employees were each given maize flour, rice, cooking oil and sugar all worth Sh. 5,000. They expressed gratitude to the donors and offered prayers for the Nation before they dispersed.

Elsewhere,  a  24-year-old teacher at Ober Boys High School in Rachuonyo East Sub County of Homa Bay County has tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total of positive cases in the County to four.

The teacher who is contracted by the school board of management tested positive for the virus on  Sunday.

He had interacted with the School Principal, Maurice Muholo  who succumbed to the disease recently.

The teacher has been put under self-quarantine in his house within the school compound where he has been staying alone after schools were closed.

The teacher had allegedly attended a meeting that was chaired by the late Principal on May 19 within the school compound to deliberate on a construction project within the institution.

According to the Homa Bay County CEC member for Health, Prof. Richard Muga, the late Muholo travelled from his house in Suna East Sub county, Migori county where he convened the

meeting which was also attended by four other officers, including the Deputy principal, two other teachers and the school bursar.

Muga said after the meeting, the principal went back to his house in Migori and the following day, he fell sick and sought medication from health facilities in Migori County.

He was later referred to Inuka hospital in Kisumu after his health worsened where he died on arrival. His body was later interred in his ancestral home in Gem, Siaya County.

On June 3, County Incident Management Committee (CIMC) assisted by local security officers went for the principal’s contacts who were put under Home Based self-Quarantine.

Meanwhile, the CIMC team is going on with tracing the teacher’s contacts in the area.

At  the same time, fears are rife in Migori County that the community infection figure could be higher than the recorded countrywide.

Consequently, a group of residents on Sunday sent a passionate appeal to the two levels of the government run an intensive mass testing exercise, especially at border counties, to establish the true position.

At a meeting of the local people commonly referred to as ‘Bunge la Mwanachi’ in Migori town, participants expressed concern that the daily figures of corona position by the Ministry of health in counties may not be correct.

Save for Nairobi and Mombasa counties that are conducting mass testing for Covid-19, other regions are concentrating on contact tracing for those already in isolation centres and therefore may not be presenting the real numbers of people infected by the virus.

“I believe that if many people in Migori can undergo the Corona virus tests like in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenyans will be shocked from the results coming out as opposed to the meager figure of 20 plus that we are currently being told,” said John Okello, the forum’s self-declared chairman.

Okello claimed the virus spread to the community levels long time before the country seriously embarked on fighting it.
Migori being a border county and neighbouring Tanzania, a country that has exhibited a lackluster habit in tackling the spread of the virus, could be sitting on a time bomb, said another speaker, Musa Otieno, who chided Kenya for allowing aliens to roam freely within the county and country at large.

“It is in only Kenya where you will find an alien roaming villages and even inheriting widows at will without complaints from wananchi and government,” claimed Otieno, adding that some of the foreigners have even acquired Kenyan identity cards fraudulently through assistance by administration officials.

“As a result of this, Migori has been experiencing an influx of foreigners trooping into towns, markets and villages to do business, seeking for jobs and inheriting women who have lost their husbands at will,” added Otieno

This situation is exposing the communities living within the region to the danger of suffering a huge wrath of the dreaded coronavirus more than counties away from the international borderlines and hence the need to carry out massive tests on the people at border counties, the speakers noted.

In the meantime, the Embu Senator, Njeru Ndwiga has called on the Ministry of Health to come clear on the confirmed corona case in Embu a fortnight ago.

This is after silence on the same after last week’s statement by Governor Martin Wambora claimed that the case was negative.

Ndwiga said clarity on the status of the case is crucial to give the correct status of Covid-19 in Embu County.

While addressing the press at his office he urged the residents of Embu to continue observing anti Covid-19 protocols set out by the Ministry of Health whether the case is positive or negative.

The Senator also called for counties to come clear on the number of beds set aside in preparedness for Covid-19.

He further urged the county governments to utilize the Sh. 5 Billion from the national government for the fight against the pandemic to speed up the level of preparedness for Covid-9 upsurge which is rising steadily.

On mass testing, Ndwiga has called for devolving mass testing exercises across the counties to speed up cases identification and speedy containment.

On Covid-19 containment measures taken by the government, the senator appreciated the step President Uhuru Kenyatta took of maintaining cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi which is the epicenter of the pandemic.

He said maintaining cessation of movement is essential in preventing the spread of the disease as people move from Nairobi to other counties.

Ndwiga advised residents of Embu to avoid trivializing Covid-19 pandemic, which can lead to exponential rise hence overwhelming the set-out isolation centers.

In cushioning the residents of Embu against the pandemic, Ndwiga said his office will distribute over 1,000 litres of sanitizers from national government and over 5, 000 face masks donated by his office across the county targeting the main markets centres.


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