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Woman narrates quarantine ‘nightmare’ in Kenya

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When Khadija (not her real name) landed in Kenya on March 24, she did not have the slightest idea of the ordeal that awaited her.

As the new coronavirus swept through the world, causing panic and anxiety, the shipping firm employee and 10 of her colleagues flew into Nairobi from Dubai, the UAE.

Getting to Nairobi was a logistical nightmare that stretched into three flights as there was no direct one to Nairobi.

“We flew from Dubai to Muscat, Oman, on March 24 and waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to Doha, Qatar. From Doha, we flew to Nairobi the next day,” she said.

RUDE SHOCK

On arrival in Nairobi, Khadija and her workmates were in for a rude shock.

“Authorities at the airport insisted that we be taken into quarantine pending testing for Covid-19. They told us to head to a number of city hotels for accommodation for the duration of the quarantine. However, the charges at the hotels they listed were too expensive for most of us,” she said.

When the weary passengers protested the exorbitant charges, the authorities backed down and offered to accommodate them at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC).

This was, however, a cropper as the institution refused to admit them, forcing the authorities to take them to Moi Girls’ High School.

“We spent a tense and agonising 12 hours at the airport after our flight as the back and forth between the authorities and the institutions ensued. Finally, Moi Girls’ agreed to take us in so we were driven there,” said Khadija.

FACILITIES

Khadija said the 129 guests at the school are forced to share dormitories and related facilities including bathrooms, toilets, handwashing and dining areas.

“At the school, we are sharing everything including bathrooms, toilets and hand washing areas. This places us at risk of getting infected should one of us have Covid-19,” she said.

The 28-year-old said the group at the school includes Pakistanis, Syrians, Cameroonians and other foreign nationals, whose state is yet to be confirmed as they have only been tested once.

In a phone interview with the Nation, she said medical officials had only tested the group once and then checked their temperature using thermal scanners like those used at airport terminals.

“We have only been tested once – on March 30,” she said.

POSITIVE CASES

Khadija’s worst fears were confirmed when three quarantined people were confirmed positive for the deadly disease.
She accused the authorities of not isolating them speedily them from the general population.

“The authorities did not take them into isolation so that they could be treated. This left us at risk of getting infected as the sick individuals were left to live and move freely among us,” she said.

Ms Khadija said the sick individuals were finally moved to a facility on March 3.

She is afraid they infected other people at the quarantine site.

“To make a risky situation worse, we have not been tested since they were taken away. Instead, we are mingling freely with each other, placing the uninfected ones at great risk of contracting the disease from those who have not yet started showing symptoms,” she said.

HEAVY COSTS

Ms Khadija said the situation at the school is gloomy yet the authorities are focused on ensuring they each pay Sh28,000 before they are allowed to leave when their quarantine period ends.

“A lady in charge of the site always insists that anyone wishing to leave must part with Sh28,000 before being cleared,” she said.
Ms Khadija also accused the security team of being harsh and said they are no longer allowed to purchase food outside the school.

“Initially, we were allowed to order food from outside the site but nowadays if we attempt to do so, the guards take our money and eat the food without giving us any explanation. There are three Syrians in here who are not eating anything yet no one is bothered about improving our living conditions,” she said.

The shipping clerk also claimed there is a woman with a baby at the school, who faces a similar risk of infection due to interacting with asymptomatic residents.

“We have been treated unfairly at the school. Reports that the quarantine has been extended by another two weeks have left us in despair,” she said.

ARREST CLAIM

Ms Khadija further claimed the residents were threatened with arrest if they continued being difficult and demanding for their rights.

“This afternoon, one of the administration officials told us our quarantine period will be extended if we continue being difficult and arguing with them over our rights and the quality of our stay,” she said.

She claimed there are three pregnant women at the site and that they have not received any specialised care or medical attention.

In a separate call to the Nation, an expectant woman at another quarantine site claimed she was taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital when she complained of being unwell but was forced to return after the referral facility refused to admit her.

“When I fell ill, I pleaded with the authorities to take me to a hospital for treatment. They told me of a private hospital but said the costs were too high so I declined,” said the woman identified only as Rosemary.

Rosemary said the administrators told her the ambulance was available at Sh 5,000 but that she did not have the cash.

“A sympathetic medic offered to call a friend with an ambulance to take me to KNH. In the end, they decided to take me to KNH. I waited from 7 pm to midnight. That was when I was taken to hospital.”

“DISTRAUGHT”

At KNH, Rosemary was taken to the labour ward, where things soon turned ugly.

“The nurses refused to admit me unless I showed them documents to prove that I was Covid-19 negative,” she said.
She said the medics treated her as just a suspected Covid-19 case.

“All their questions were related to Covid-19. At no point did they show interest in my pregnancy or the pain I was feeling. In the end, I asked the authorities to return me to the quarantine site,” said the 25-year-old who is eight months pregnant.

“My family back home is distraught as they cannot afford the quarantine fees demanded by the authorities. I do not know when I will finally go home,” she said.

By NN


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Business

Bodaboda chama grows into a multi-million shilling housing cooperative

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A journey of a thousand many miles starts with a single step. A Nakuru-based bodaboda operator’s self-help group proved this in its growth. Driven by the ambition to have something to take home once they couldn’t ride any more, ten bodaboda operators from Barut, Nakuru West in 2015 formed Kianjahi Group, pooling a minimum savings of Sh100 per week per person.

“Being a bodaboda operator is a risky job and has serious effect on one’s health especially if you don’t dress properly for the cold. After attending a seminar in Machakos we decided to start making savings,” said Benson Sigei, the group chairperson.

The group grew as more members joined in 2016. After evaluating their progress, the members increased their weekly savings to Sh200 and eventually to Sh1,000.

“Before the year ended we were nearly 100 members. Our savings were growing and we had to come up with plans which some members considered as too ambitious and pulled out,” says Sigei. With savings of nearly Sh2 million, they bought a 1.6-acre piece of land which was previously a sand quarry.

“It cost us Sh2.1 million in buying the land and rehabilitating it to usable standards. We embarked on making savings for constructing houses which would be of similar design,” he said.

To make this possible they converted the group into Kianjahi Housing Cooperative Society Limited and introduced Sh15,100 registration fee and minimum share capital of Sh60,000 payable in Sh500 weekly instalments.

AmpThe group started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model.

“Every member now contributes a minimum of Sh1,500 for savings every week. Those yet to clear their share capital make an additional payment of Sh500. This amount does not exert great pressure on the riders since the majority make nearly KShs1,000 per day.

The group then started the construction of two-bedroom houses in a gated community model where four houses sit on every 50 by 100 feet plot. The cooperative completed the construction of the first 50 units majority of which have already been occupied.

“We took a Sh15 million loan and in addition to our savings we bought an additional acre of land at Sh2.1 million. In the first phase, we have constructed 52 housing units. 35 members have already moved in,” said the vice-chairman.

The cooperative has bought a third parcel of land on which they intend to set up houses for all members. Members who moved in during the first phase like pay Sh2,000 per month. Sh200 goes to savings and Sh1,800 going towards offsetting the cost of construction. The payment for the houses is spread over seven years.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Health

Kenyans Woman Spikes Lover’s Drink, Transfers Sh1.7mn From His Bank Account – police

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A woman has been arrested in the Kenyan coast after spiking his drink, and stealing Sh1.7 million from his bank account.

24-year-old Beatrice Mueni Mbiu had been on the run since September 8 when the incident occurred at a night club in Nyali, Kwale County.

“She took off alongside her two accomplices but we got her,” a DCI detective told Capital FM News, “she will be charged on Monday even as we seek the other two.”

The detective said the suspect had been positively identified by the victim.

According to police, the woman first spiked the man’s drink then stole his phone which she used to transfer Sh1.7 million from his bank account.

Detectives said they relied on the club’s CCTV images and footage to identify and trace the suspect.

Drink-spiking is common in night clubs frequented by commercial sex workers in major towns including Nairobi and Mombasa where they target both locals and foreigners.

-Capitalfm.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Young African boy creates his own ‘ATM’ that dispenses new notes

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Africa is filled with amazing talents, that goes without much debates.

There have been instances where young people have demonstrated unmatchable skills like a Nigerian man who used pencils to create an amazing 3D drawing.

Young Nigerian boy creates his own ATM

The little boy knelt shyly in front of the camera as he demonstrated how his machine works. Photo: Gidi_Traffic
Source: UGC

A video of a young boy has added to the repositories of Africans whose works have found visibility online.

In the clip, the young boy showcased the contraption he made with carton boxes.

When asked what it is, the boy said it an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).

He demonstrated how it works as new naira notes dashed out of a hole to the floor.

On one hand, he held what looked like the battery that powered the machine.

His creation became known months after yet another Nigerian kid did something similar but with a different body design that mimics the real ATM.

Meanwhile, TUKO.co.ke earlier reported how a 14-year-old Nigerian boy, named Praise Kelechi, showed off his improvisational skill of using cartons to create robots and other superhero costumes.

In an interview with BBC, the boy, while, displaying the Iron Man suit replica he made, said he was worked on it before the lockdown but had more time to perfect it as school was on a forced holiday.

He gave this piece of advice:

“I want to tell the world that no matter how rich or poor you may be, you can still be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want. It does not matter the resources available or not, you can just be who you are.”

by Tuko.co.ke


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