Woman forced to give piriton to her children to sleep, skip meals over debt

Many have been perplexed by an unusual deed of a poor 62-year-old mother of six in Kapenguria, West Pokot County, who gave Piriton medicines to her children and grandkids to skip meals. She has a debt of KES 480.

Piriton, also known as chlorphenamine in medicine, is categorized as a drowsy (sedating) antihistamine.

Jane Naliaka, a Mama Mboga who sells vegetables, and her siblings recently narrowly avoided death after abusing piriton for two days without eating. They were saved by neighbors.

Naliaka owes a friend Sh 480 for a loan she took out when one of her grandkids fell ill. She hadn’t made her payments on time, so the debt was growing.

The oversleeping of Naliaka’s brothers for two days surprised the neighborhood.

Naliaka, also known as Mama Dorica, claims that the exorbitant cost of living has made life intolerable after she was unable to provide food for her siblings.

According to Naliaka, who described her plight, her family has been going without food for several days.

“I have six children plus five grandchildren whose mother died. Some children are still young. I gave them hot water with no sugar in the morning but many times we go without food,” she said.

Naliaka, a sad woman who admitted to feeding her children and grandchildren drugs for them to go to slumber and assume food, said they used to disturb her by crying for food.

“I normally give them Piriton for them to sleep so that they don’t cry the whole night when there is no supper. One grandchild whose mother died has been disturbing me to take him to her mother, yet we had told him that she went on a long journey,” narrated Naliaka.

Naliaka, who sells vegetables in Makutano Township, owes her friend a debt, a situation that made the debtor take away her stock of KES 3000.

“I could not pay the debt for two months and my friend, with whom I had borrowed her cash, came and picked my tomatoes. She even took me to the police station and life became hard for me,” she said.

Naliaka, a single mother who stays in a rented single-room estate says she is now unable to pay rent for six months.

“I pay KES 3000 but am now unable to make both ends meet,” she pointed out.

She says her children have been absent from school because they have been affected by the drugs.

“They normally go to school at most three days in a week because sometimes Piriton makes them dizzy,” she said.

Naliaka says that she has not also paid school fees for the children.

“We need once in a day because of the bad economic situation,” she said.

She is now calling on well-wishers to help her.

“I call on my Governor, my MP, senator and friends to come to my aid,” she said.

She is now challenging the Kenya kwanza Government move in citing that poor Kenyans are greatly suffering.

“I call on President William Ruto to intervene and save us as mothers at the bottom of the pyramid,” she said.

Charles Lokwachai Panyako, a neighbour who witnessed the incident, says the mother’s situation was dire.

“Life has become hard, ten people in a vehicle, and five have slept hungry. I was shocked after visiting Mama Dorica. I saw her with many piritons and she was giving them to her children to sleep and forget the food. They only take porridge in day plus pritons,” he said

He added that poor Kenyans have become unable to spend one hundred shillings.

“Initially you could buy a quarter of sugar. Mama Mboga gets KES 100 in a day and it becomes hard for her to balance life. She takes three piritons and gives two to each child,” he said.

He says that Mama Dorica gave her kids the drugs for two days and slept for long and was rescued by neighbours.

“Prices of commodities are going up. A quarter of sugar goes at KES 60. Boda boda riders are crying because of high fuel prices yet they have loans pushing them. If you have KES 200 you will buy flour at KES 110, sugar, and cabbage at KES 20. Let the Government help the poor,” he said.

Wycliffe Ambani, a boda boda rider, said that Kenyans have been affected by the finance act which has made prices for basic commodities rise.

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