The county governments have been urged to establish a special fund to address the imminent crisis in children’s homes following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Speaking in Nakuru, Executive Director to Multi-Touch International, an environmental conservation lobby Christine Wangari, also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider tax exemption for donations to charitable institutions as most organizations the homes relied on had been closed down.
Mrs.Wangari made the remarks at the lobby’s office where she donated 2,000 kilograms of beans and fruits to 10 children’s homes adding that the government was doing a commendable job to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, most donors had apparently forgotten children homes in the fight against the virus.
Ms. Wangari called on the county administration to set up a special team of public health officials, who will be specifically responsible for making vulnerable children understand how to avoid contracting the disease. Most charitable homes she said did not have adequate sanitation facilities.
“Thousands of children in Kenya are in Children’s homes that depend on cash donations from individuals, corporates and faith based organizations. These well-wishers’ businesses have been destroyed by coronavirus effects, the donors are in need themselves. And I am afraid they will no longer come through for us,” she said.
The Executive director said most children’s homes cannot be closed down as they were catering for individuals whose parents were imprisoned, had no guardians or were orphaned, adding that county administration need to formulate intervention measures should Covid-19 find its way into the charitable institutions.
Covid 19, has had devastating effects on 82 peopple at Mission in Action Children’s home in Nakuru.
The home’s Director Catherine Jones said they had stockpiled food and non-food items after reports indicated that the locust invasion would result in food shortages. The stocks however, ran out with the persisting pandemic.
“We have depleted our stocks and we do not know how long the situation will persist. Most donors have been affected while most relief supplies and emergency funds from the County government of Nakuru do not factor us in,” noted Ms. Jones.
Ms. Jones said in compliance with safety regulations issued by the Ministry of health to combat spread of Covid-19, Mission in Action Children’s home had suspended visiting occasions where ordinarily well-wishers would donate foods, clothing, bedding, educational materials and even spend time with the children.
The facility is home to children aged between one year and 22 years. They are under the care of 16 staff.