Beggars increased rate alarming in Bungoma town
Written by Timothy Makokha
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Who is a genuine beggar by definition? It is the question most business people and residents are asking themselves in Bungoma town.
The rate at which beggars are mushrooming in Bungoma town is alarming as they are many for the town. It is even worse on Fridays being the market day in town. All these beggars come in various versions for example some come in the name of preachers with prayers, some pretend to have walked over long distances, the disabled and the usual street children. There are some equipped with sweet language to lure people to give them money and material things.
It is also said that a few parents have taken advantage of the begging exercise to educate their children. A case is told of an old man from Mayanja who has educated his children up to college level through begging along the streets of Bungoma town. He could dress in tatters each morning and feign sickness or behave as if he has had no meal for a week to attract sympathy from onlookers.
It has reached to a level where business men have complained that the number of beggars in Bungoma town is just too much and the town authority should do something about it. They have become more of a public nuisance to town dwellers. A business woman whose name was not identified said that the best way to assist beggars is to start an association to register all of them and give them the necessary support from an office rather than them moving door to door.
Although a few individuals opposed to this proposal but majority were of the view that the town municipal council should as well look into the matter and offer a lasting solution about beggars in the Bungoma town.
Unfortunately, some insincere persons beg for fun. For instance one of the beggars was seen buying local liquor (busaa) at Mayanja market after soliciting money from business people and travelers of Bungoma town.
Some travelers wondered if these old beggars have children and other relatives. If they had any then let them get assistance from their homes under care of close relatives and children but if the matter gets out of hand then the general public can be invited to offer support.
I believe poverty is an incentive to creativity, meaning poor people should resort to creativity in order for them to come out of the poverty. In my opinion I would wish to believe that these beggars should become creative and come up with a means of survival that can be uplifted by well wishers including the government and NGO’s.