Assistant Chief who serves beyond calls of duty becomes a darling of the destitute in Ugunja sub county

When he joined the government service as an assistant chief, Samuel Indakwa Maero vowed never to stop his small-time philanthropic activities of visiting the elderly destitute and sharing whatever little he had.

Much as he thought that the demands of the national government administration duty will force him to scale down on the periodic visits he had started three years before his employment as the assistant chief for Uhuyi sub-location in Ruwe location, Ugunja sub-county, Maero was soon to realize that all he needed was to program himself well and create a day for the deprived in the society who had no one to turn to.

And, when he received information from a Community health volunteer that one of his subjects had resorted to mixing soil with salt which she would partake in and later gulp a cup of water before retiring to bed due to lack of food, Maero vowed that more action was required to bring hope to the destitute, most of them elderly.

When Kenya News Agency caught up with him in his area of jurisdiction, Maero, a father of four, was on a routine visit to some of the deprived. Accompanied by community health volunteers and village elders, the administrator was busy washing the feet of those infested with jiggers and helping apply medication.

Maero, who is just three years in service, says that he has been forced to set aside a day every week to visit people who need special care, most of them those neglected by families and relatives.

“During the visits, we show them, love, by sharing a meal or whatever little we have,” he says adding that such visits include helping to wash their clothes and beddings and general cleaning.

Apart from helping the destitute with hygiene and other chores, chief Maero also uses the opportunity to pass government messages to the beneficiaries of his philanthropy.

“Like this lady here, she cannot attend my public baraza to get information and I have to take government messages to them during such visits,” he says.

The assistant chief says that each of the destitute families have different challenges that require diverse solutions.

“Some have been infested with jiggers and for such, I help clean them and apply medication to keep the parasites away,” he says.

Some, like Tabitha Matakwa Weya who suffers from physical deformities, have myriad challenges, among them jigger and bedbug infestation.

Alone and unable to fend for herself due to deformities on her legs and hands, Weya was on the verge of losing the battle for survival when Maero and the CHVs came knocking.

“She had been abandoned by her only daughter who nobody knows her whereabouts to date and with nothing to eat, had resorted to mixing soil and salt that she would eat,” said the assistant chief.

He says that the sight moved him and since then, he decided to set aside 30% of his monthly salary to cater for her needs and made it a routine to visit her, help in the house chores and provide whatever little he has to enable Weya to have a meal.

Weya, 76 years, is a widow whose husband died some years back.

Another beneficiary of the assistant chief’s benevolence is Joseph Oloo Ogwe who was rendered immobile by jiggers.

Ogwe says that he had been rendered immobile by the jiggers and, with no one to help; he had lost hope of survival.

“Since the assistant chief started visiting me and helping to wash and apply medication to my feet, I can now move, albeit with difficulty,” he says.

And to Naaman Olaka of Uhuyi “A” village, the regular visit by the administrator and the community health volunteers has seen his mother, Margaret Ouma regain her feet.

“My mother was a hardworking lady and was a renown farmer in the village until the jiggers came knocking a year ago,” says Olaka.

Olaka says that Chief Maero and his team deserve a pat on the back for their efforts to bring hope to the destitute in society.

Community health volunteer, Emitati Sarah Mukoya hail’s the chief’s efforts, saying that he is always there for the downtrodden in the community.

Mukoya gives an example of Mama Weya who, she adds that needs attention from well-wishers.

“The chief always does shopping for her,” said the CHV.

Her sentiments are echoed by a village elder, Stephen Meta who says that the community is appreciative of their assistant chief’s efforts.

Chief Maero thanks his bosses for the support that has enabled him to serve the residents of Uhuyi sub location. He is equally full of praise for Siaya governor, James Orengo for donating a wheelchair to mama Weya.

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