HELP AT HAND

Grandfather who crawled for 20 years gets a wheelchair

Mzee Samuel Chepyegon paralysed in his legs 20 years ago.

In Summary

•“My wife divorced me and walked away with one boy-child when my condition developed and worsened back in 2001,” Chelongon said on Monday.

•According to his relative, Hosea Komen, Mzee Chepyegon was healthy and even worked as a casual laborer with the defunct Kenya Railways Corporation in Nakuru in 1980s.

Mzee Samuel Chepyegon smiles after receiving a wheelchair on Saturday.
Mzee Samuel Chepyegon smiles after receiving a wheelchair on Saturday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

A 65-year-old disabled man who has crawled daily for the last 20 years has finally received a wheelchair.

Mzee Samuel Chepyegon paralysed in his legs 20 years ago.

He lives in a Mabati house in Talai village in Baringo Central sub-county.

 

“My wife divorced me and walked away with one boy-child when my condition developed and worsened back in 2001,” Chelongon said on Monday.

 

According to his relative, Hosea Komen, Mzee Chepyegon was healthy and even worked as a casual laborer with the defunct Kenya Railways Corporation in Nakuru in 1980s.

Apart from the legs, the condition has also paralysed his hands, distorted his speech and he can no longer cultivate his five-acre land. 

“As a family we have taken up the responsibility of assisting him to the toilet, washing and helping him change his clothes, cultivating the farm for him and even gathering foodstuff frequently for him, though it has never been an easy task,” Komen said.

 
 

Talai location chief Thomas Chepyegon confirmed the situation.

According to Baringo-based Dr Masai Shapaya, thorough medical tests must be carried on the patient to ascertain the exact cause of the condition.

“He might have suffered a mild stroke which was treated and ended up paralysing his nervous system,” he said.

Elimu Kwanza Initiative community based organisation director Dorothy Jebet, through the Chinese Embassy, donated a wheelchair to him on Saturday.

The organisation further donated food items to more than 20 vulnerable households- people with disabilities, widows and elderly within Talai.

"Several families across the entire Baringo County live in abject poverty due to a number of reasons,” Jebet said.

She called on leaders and well-wishers to help donate anything to help the vulnerable.

“It is time people should not hide or go silent about these vulnerable groups, because they are equally God’s creation,” she said.

Jebet noted that the disabled old man requires a decent house at least with a toilet inside, “so he can also enjoy quality of life”.

The county has reported numerous discrimination allegations against people with disability (PWDs).

The disabled claim they don’t have any representative in all the county departments like the assembly and the executive.

“We went ahead to present our plight in court soon after the 2017 General Election but unfortunately the case was quashed in unclear circumstances,” Kabarnet-based-PWD official Richard Cherutich said.

Cherutich noted their membership currently stands at over 10,000 in the county, although a large number of them including children were still being hidden in various rural homes. 

Mzee Samuel Chepyegon crawls inside his house in Talai, Baringo Central on Saturday.
Mzee Samuel Chepyegon crawls inside his house in Talai, Baringo Central on Saturday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO