Connect with us

General

Holy sanctuary where faithful seek divine intervention : The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

The Oldonyo Orok cave in Kajiado County, where worshipers from different religions seek solace from God. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]
At the border of Kenya and Tanzania lies a series of scenic hills that house a sanctuary used by people of different religions to seek solace from God.

Loading...

For years now, dozens of religious people have visited Ol Doniyo Orok (Black Mountain) or Namanga Hills to pray and fast inside a hidden cave whose surrounding is also a haven for wild animals that are part of tourist attraction especially during the dry season.
At the entrance of the cave accessed through the hill on the Namanga-Kajiado road, we meet a group of women and children who had spent three days in the cave and were now leaving for Mtito Andei in Makueni County.
“We have been coming to pray in this sacred place every year. We are a prayerful family and believe that praying in this cave helps us grow spiritually,” says Lucy Mwende in the company of her five children.Inside the cave that has tunnels where people can gather in groups, a number of people are asleep while others pray. “I have been coming here since 2014. It is quiet, and the only thing you hear is water pouring from top of the hill that stands at 2,548 metres above sea level, with birds singing and noise made by some animals that come to drink water,” says Soita Oyaire, a teacher from Kajiado County.
Mr Oyaire, who worships at the African Inland Church (AIC) in Namanga town, says Ol Doniyo Orok has various Bible verses scribbled on the rocks and can accommodate more than 500 people in one sitting.
Frequent visitors come from Pentecostal churches in Machakos, Kitui, Makueni, Kiambu and Murang’a.
“Churches have some unclean people. Drunkards, thieves and even corrupt people walk into them and this hinders prayers from reaching God. For this reason, I come to this clean place to thank or even ask God to help me,” he says.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.
Inside the cave, there are cooking utensils and three fire places where food is prepared using firewood collected from the hill.
“Families come and stay here for even a month. Those who do not wish to fast carry flour to prepare porridge,” he says.
Simon Masikonde, who worships at Emmanuel Shalom Church, says he has been visiting Ol Doniyo Orok since 2009 when he first came with friends for prayers.
“We have people from different religious backgrounds here, and everyone knows what brings him or her to this place. We may pray using different languages and manners, but all prayers go to God,” he says.
Initially, the cave was used by the Maasai during celebrations but was open to the public after it was gazetted by the government. Oldoinyo Orok is one of the areas gazetted by the national government as a water tower.
But even as hordes of people spend their time praying in the hallowed caves, they have nowhere to relieve themselves since the place has no toilets.
There are writings on one of the rocks at the cave’s entrance quoting Deuteronomy 23:12-14: “You must have a designated area outside the camp where you go to relieve yourself. Each of you must have a spade as part of your equipment. Whenever you relieve yourself, dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement. The camp must be holy, for the Lord your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies”.
The place also has no electricity, and when it gets dark, worshipers use solar lamps. Meanwhile, they remain strong in spirit, and continue to pray to their maker, day and night.

Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.

Related Topics
Ol Doniyo OrokNamanga HillsNamanga Hills Sanctuary

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

Loading...

However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Drastic life changes affecting mental health

Published

on

Loading...

Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

Loading...

Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

Loading...
Continue Reading

Trending