Priest, NGO donate Christmas goodies to Athi River slum dwellers - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 27 December 2020

Priest, NGO donate Christmas goodies to Athi River slum dwellers

 

More than 3,000 residents of City Carton in Athi River, Machakos county received Christmas gifts from well-wishers on Sunday.

The locals, including victims of recent evictions in the area, received foodstuff, clothes, shoes, toiletry and refreshments from UTU Charity Organisation.

The NGO also distributed sweets for children. The donations were made in collaboration with Father Henry Simaro of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sabaki.

The eviction victims had moved the nearby slum after their houses were brought down by bulldozers hired by an auctioneer contracted by a private investor.

UTU director Jessica Omija said they considered celebrating Christmas with the slum dwellers since they were less privileged and were not able to travel to their  rural homes for the festivities due to their vulnerability.

“We have come to celebrate Christmas with the community in the slum since they are more vulnerable. Our assessment as an organisation is that all those who live in this slum are needy. Some are victims of the recent evictions nearby,” Omija said.

She spoke at the slum during the distribution of the gifts to the elderly, women and children on Sunday. Cakes were also given out.

“We had cakes for the children. We had a wonderful time with them. We will be doing this often,” Omija said.

The NGO also constructed a pit latrine for the residents.

“We built the latrine since sanitation is a critical aspect for good health and we understand the circumstances of those living here,” Omija said.

Most houses in the slum are shanties, some made using cartons. The hygiene situation is pathetic with no basic amenities like water and sewerage.

Father Simaro prayed for both the residents and well-wishers. He wished them merry Christmas and happy new year.

The clergy urged the locals to refrain from engaging in drug and substance abuse, consumption of illicit liquor and instead seek God’s guidance by going to church.

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