The situation has been worse for elderly women who are forced to take care of their sons and contend with assaults.
Many women benefiting from the cash transfer programme don’t enjoy the money as it is forcefully taken from them by their sons.
Alcoholism is still a big problem in Murang’a despite the sustained fight against the menace by the government, elderly people from Kangema have said.
They said they have been living in agony as their children fall into the trap of addiction.
The elderly people spoke during a meeting with Murang’a Woman Representative Betty at Kiamara shopping centre.
Njoki Mwangi said the situation has been worse for elderly women who are forced to take care of their sons and contend with assaults.
“We don’t even sleep peacefully because they knock on our doors late at night seeking food after spending their days at the shopping centres,” she said.
Majority of these men, Mwangi said, are separated from their wives because of alcoholism.
She wondered why bars are allowed to sell brands of alcohol that are clearly detrimental to consumers’ health.
She said their daughters give birth and leave their children under their care yet they are elderly and unable to fend for them and struggle to bring them up.
Mwangi said many elderly women benefiting from the Sh2,000 Inua Jamii cash don’t get to enjoy the money.
This is because it is forcefully taken away from them by their sons who then use the money to buy alcohol.
“Some are unlucky enough to even get beaten up for it by their children. Every time they have money, they have no peace because they know they can be assaulted any time,” Mwangi said.
George Wamugunda, another Kangema resident, said most youths live in a drunken stupor and don’t work at all.
“Nowadays, both men and women drink alcohol that is poisonous and their homes are a mess. Who will be working for the other now? The Deputy President said he would eradicate alcoholism. Let him know that it is still rife here in the villages”.
“Go tell the government that we don’t want those kinds of alcohol here. They would rather return the traditional ones that does not affect people’s health,” Wamugunda said.
Peter Muriithi said if the harmful drinks are not stopped from the source, all the other efforts the government has been making will be in vain.
“If they [liquor] were not available, would people be in bars drinking them?” he posed.
“We have been left with small children as our children cannot feed them and we cannot allow them to go hungry,” he said, adding that all young people do is drink and are unable to take care of themselves and their families.
MP Peter Kihungi said the fight against alcoholism will have to focus on the sources of poisonous alcohol brands if it is to be successful.
While lauding the President and his deputy for making efforts to stem alcoholism in the country, the lawmaker said the biggest challenge is the availability of alcohol.
“If we don’t deal with the source, it does not matter how much we fight alcoholism in the grassroots. It will still thrive,” Kihungi said.
“Once security agents leave a place, they supply unknown brands of alcohol that cause young men to go crazy when they drink and become weak.”
In the tea zones, farmers are forced to employ youths from other communities as farmhands because local ones spend their time in drinking dens.
He said parents are in anguish as they watch their children being rendered unproductive and lose direction in life.
MP Maina said alcoholism has been fuelling sexual assaults on girls and women in the villages.
“It is painful for a parent to watch their children drink every day after struggling to educate them,” she said.
“I will not be afraid of speaking out against these people opening bars in villages and selling these brands. If they don’t vote for me in next elections so be it”.
Maina said if youths were economically productive, a smaller number of the elderly would need to be supported by the government as their children would support them instead.
She said the economy has been hurting far more from the adverse effects of the poisonous brands than the revenue they generate for the government.
Maina distributed blankets and foodstuffs to hundreds of elderly persons to shield them from the cold that may accompany the expected El Niño rains.