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We are struggling to stay alive – Family who lives on ‘kenkey water’



Gagging on the stench of stale urine is inevitable around the home of Esther Tetteh and her family.

The stench cannot be missed.

The 42-year-old, single mother, drags her body on her knees out of the dilapidated wooden kiosk, she shouts for her oldest son, 15-year-old, Okoh to help her sit on the wheelchair.

The day has begun and the family’s fervent prayer is to secure a meal for the day, even if it is snack.

Esther lives with her 5 children, in a rickety kiosk, in Ngleshie Amanfrom, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region.

The family’s breadwinner, a 10-year-old, Michael Ashley, begs for alms on the street of Kasoa.

On a good day, he makes GHC10 and the family feast.

“I send him to beg for alms in order to feed the family, I cannot work due to my condition, he is the only one that goes to beg because the others feel embarrassed,” she said.

Esther was not born physically challenged; she lost her limbs to domestic violence.

“When my last daughter was 5 months old, I had a quarrel with my baby-daddy and in the cause of the confrontations, he pushed me and I broke my leg” she recounted.

It has been six years since and Esther’s hope of ever walking again has been dashed.

“I could not report him to the police or the doctors when they asked, I did not want him arrested, and also because he apologized and got me this wheelchair, I wish I could work to take care of her children” she said.

“We are struggling to survive day after day, my sisters use to help me but they stopped, I guess it is not easy for them also” she added.

On days where luck runs on them, the family sleeps on ‘kenkey water” from a neighbor, some times for a week.

Esther’s children include; 15-year-old twins (a boy and a girl), a 13-year-old, son, a 10-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old boy.

Due to financial constraints, the twin boy and his 10-year-old brother have dropped out of school.

The other three are made to stay home on days Esther could not afford the GHC1 feeding fees

“I could not afford uniforms and feeding money for them all, so when they opted to drop out, I could not say much. In anyway, I do not have legs to chase them to school” she added.

Edmond, according to Esther, still comes home to demand sex and in an event of been refused assaults her.

“He has been coming here, often times drunk and demanding sex, when I refuse him he beats me, most recent one was during the Christmas break, it was the timely intervention of my neighbors that saved me” she recounted her experience.

The family lives by the mercies of the weather as the rickety wooden structure is a disaster waiting to happen

“The wood and the roofing sheets are rotting,so on rainy days we stay up to salvage our belongings.”

Life for the family is on survival mode.

Crime Check Foundation through its donors gave the family GHC500.

“This is unexpected, we are grateful for the gesture and we pray Gods infinite blessings on you all,” she said beaming with smiles.


Source: Aba Asamoah, Contributor


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