• Trouble for Susan Wanjiku Gikonyo started after a car driven by a man known to her veered off the road and crashed into her house, leaving a gaping hole on the wall.
• Her tribulations were highlighted in a video taken by her neighbour and released on social media.
A 62-year-old disabled woman who has been living in the cold for months can rest easy after a parastatal director built her house to replace one ruined by a motorist.
Karanja Mburu, a Lappset Corridor Development Authority director, got to know of Susan Wanjiku Gikonyo's tribulations through a video of the damaged house released on social media by Shadrack Gichiri, her neighbour.
Gichiri narrated what happened and apppealed to well-wishers to help Wanjiku, who lives with her son and a nephew.
Trouble for Wanjiku, a resident of Kahatia in Kahuro, Murang'a, started after a car driven by a man known to her veered off the road and crashed into her house, leaving a gaping hole on the wall.
Wanjiku and her son heard several loud bangs. The son went out and found the car next to the damaged timber house.
The crash and their screams attracted neighbours, who assisted in the removal of the car from the house.
For a while, the family continued living in the ruined house. But the long heavy rains made life miserable for Wanjiku and she had to move into a tiny tin-walled structure she used as a kitchen. The son and nephew were left in the house.
The car driver pledged to repair the house and gave her Sh7,000 as downpayment.
“We did a valuation of the damage and he promised to help us but he only came back once with a few pieces of timber. He knew I could not afford the repairs since I am wheelchair-bound. He just abandoned us,” the mother of three said.
Wanjiku led a normal life until a few years ago when she started experiencing pain in her back. Her legs grew weak.
She sought treatment at Muriranjas Hospital but the prescribed drugs were not effective.
Soon after, her legs gave in and she had to use a wheelchair. She did not have the finances for further treatment. Her son, a casual worker, is her provider.
It was Gichiri's video which prompted Karanja to help the destitute family through his Karanja Mburu Foundation.
The Lappset director demolished the ruined house and built Wanjiku a two bed room house.
George Gathuru, who works for the Karanja foundation, said they first visited the family with foodstuff.
“We noticed that she was also using a worn-out wheelchair which had to be supported with a stone as it did not have one wheel,” Gathuru said.
The foundation bought her a wheelchair and also replaced her bed which was crushed by the car.
Wanjiku thanked the foundation for saving her from the vagaries of weather and buying her a wheelchair.
The Karanja Mburu Foundation has partnered with American NGO Can Do Kids to construct 40 water tanks in primary schools.
It also provides food to over 5,000 needy families in Kiharu constituency.
- mwaniki fm