WHO HAS MY GIRL?

Father recounts 5 years of frustration looking for epileptic daughter

They have visited mortuaries, hospital wards and even run a missing child notice on Citizen TV and other media platforms. Nothing.

In Summary

• Aged five, Susan was mildly epileptic when she went missing on January 6, 2015.

• On that day, she was out playing with her friends in the neighbourhood and off she went.

Ngomongo slum
Ngomongo slum

George Okoth's daughter, Susan, has been missing for five years now.

Since then, he has two occupations - working to fend for his family and looking for her wherever she may be and as long as it takes. It is not an enviable life.

Aged five, Susan was mildly epileptic when she went missing on January 6, 2015.

 

The father of six lives in the Ngomongo, Nairobi. On that day, she was out playing with her friends in the neighbourhood, and off she went.

Besides the pain of a disappeared child, Okoth is pained more by the harassment he says he has gone through looking for his child.

"When you visit children's homes, the watchmen are under strict instructions not to let you in. They only take a copy of the child's picture at the gate," he said.

The default answer of inquiry is always "there is no such a child here", he said. 

Okoth also said that state officials working on children affairs at the grass roots levels are also part of the problem, frustrating parents looking for their missing children.

"The children homes require that you must bear a letter from the subcounty child officer authorising you to look for the missing child at a particular institution," he said. 

The said letter is only for a particular children's home and when you go to the next, you must get another one.

 

Okoth said in some children's homes he was allowed access. He requested to be allowed to scout through the children himself to see if he could spot his daughter. He believes just showing Susan's image taken in or earlier than 2015 is not helpful as she is older now. 

"I have been pleading with children's homes to at least allow me check the children for myself. Showing the image taken before 2015 surely  cannot help," Okoth said, visibly exhausted by the search.

He also noted that the police don't help much as they only issue OB numbers when the disappearance is reported. They may also issue a letter to the parent so they possibly gain access to children's homes as they do their search. 

The missing person's report was filed as OB48/12/1/2015.

"It is very frustrating. Anybody having my child, even in a children's home for whatever reason, I leave revenge to God," he said. 

"The amount of pain I'm experiencing now for losing my child ... God will revenge it for me."

They have visited mortuaries, hospital wards and even ran a missing child notice on Citizen TV and other media platforms. Still, nothing.

Edited by EKibii