Disaster looms as defilement, rape reign in populous Langas

Tuesday April 23 2019

A section of Langa estate in Eldoret town

A section of Langa estate in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on April 22, 2019. There is looming danger for girls and women as defilement cases are on the rise in the estate. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

TITUS OMINDE
By TITUS OMINDE
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Crowded dusty and dirty streets link hundreds of shanties that make the populous Langas estate in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

From one street to another, stinky sewers and uncollected garbage highlight the struggles the residents face each day.

If there are no banana peels on the road, there are pineapple peels on the roadside.

Decaying maize cobs can be seen on one side of the road and uncollected sawdust on the other.

HIGH CRIME RATE

The estate has for a long time been infamously known in the town for its high rate of crime, mostly muggings, house break-ins and robberies.

Not a single day passes without a robbery or a house break-in being reported in the estate.

The sprawling estate does not enjoy any desirable history as it was the centre of the deadly post-election violence experienced in the town after the 2007 General Election.

If the facade is unwelcoming, then the interior is ugly and repugnant.

GIRLS IN DANGER

Rape and defilement cases have recently shot up in the area, making it one of the most dangerous places for girls and women in the county.

Defilement has become so frequent in the last few months, making local leaders and activists to raise the alarm.

The Children Department based in Kapseret Sub-County recently indicated that at least 10 children are defiled in the estate every month.

Children’s Officer Simon Orenge said they are alarmed by the developing situation and appealed to the security agencies in Eldoret to intervene to avert a looming disaster.

10 CASES A MONTH

“Cases of defilement in Langas are on the rise, on monthly basis, at least 10 cases are reported to our offices,” said Mr Orenge.

Mercy (not her real name) said she was defiled by her uncle for more than two years at their home in the estate. He would wait when her mother was away and defile her, threatening to harm her if she told anyone about it.

“The first time he called me into his room and told me to help him look for his shoes under the bed. When I bent down to look for the shoes, he carried me to his bed and defiled me,” said the 17-year-old girl.

She said that this went on like that for nearly two years until it become a habit.

DISMISSED

She said she became courageous at some point and told her mother about it but she dismissed her. She also narrated her trauma to teachers in her school who reported the matter to the police. The uncle was arrested and charged. She ran away from home for fear of being harmed after reporting the case.

The case is ongoing at the Eldoret chief magistrate’s court.

Joy (not her real name), 16, was employed as a house girl in Langas.

Within no time the husband of the woman she was working for started forcing her to have sex with him.

Joy said that her efforts to reveal what was happening were thwarted by the wife who did not believe her.

FORCED

“The man used to come to my room at night and force me to have sex with him when his wife was on night duty. Whenever I reported the incident, she dismissed me,” she said.

She said she suffered in silence in the hands of this man until she got pregnant and was immediately kicked out of the house by the couple.

“When I told his wife that I had been impregnated by her husband, she was mad at me. They all turned against me and chased me out of their house on allegations that I was out to destroy their marriage,” said Joy, who has since given birth.

No action has been taken against the man so far.

RESCUE CENTRE

The two girls have been accommodated by a rescue centre.

Mr Orenge told the Nation that their survey indicated that drug abuse and illicit brew in the estate are some of the factors fanning the vice.

He also blamed irresponsible parents for exposing children to sex predators.

Eldoret West OCPD Waqo Abduba said they have received many reports of sexual assault cases from Langas, adding that they have warned residents against attempts to solve them through kangaroo courts.

“As police officers, we are working with all stakeholders to fight the vice. We have a special desk at the station which deals with matters affecting children,” said Mr Abduba.

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