Feminique

Beatrice: Widowed, homeless, hungry

She has no hands and legs. Fifty-two-year old widow, Beatrice Nweda, and her children have no roof over their heads. Hunger and sickness have added to their agonies. UCHENNA INYA reports

Since 2013 she lost her husband, Cyprian Nweda, life has been somewhat hellish for Mrs. Beatrice Nweda of Usoenyim village, Enyibuchiri community in Ikwo local government Area of Ebonyi State. In fact, she didn’t imagine such for herself. According to her, shortly after the death of her husband in 2014, she fell sick and in the process, noticed itching feelings on her hands and legs. Due to lack of finance, adequate medical attention was not given to her.

She resorted to local medications where herbs and unfathomable concoctions were administered to her that not only worsened her medical conditions but led to amputation of both hands and legs in a dehumanised local setting. Her situation is critical owing to the fact that she and her five children, two girls and three boys lack the essentials of life; food, shelter and clothing.

The situation has made her oldest son, Obinna, 14, to engage in various menial jobs to fend for her mother and siblings while the trauma of being a single mother, physically challenged and widow offer an unbearable burden to her as no support system comes to her.

Even to chase troubling flies away from her face, it was done with struggle especially when New Telegraph was interacting with her. Despite her physical challenge, the indigent widow was still grateful to God. She said she was grateful that she was not a dead person adding that she didn’t know that she will not die of the ailment.

“I was feeling headache and it was very serious. At a time, my hands and legs started itching and I was taken to a place where they said I contracted poison. In that place, they treated me and the problem persisted. I was taken to another place; they also treated me to no avail.

They then decided to amputate my hands and legs like this because my hands and legs had decayed badly,” she explained. “As you can see, I can no longer do anything to carter for my five children.

I only depend on begging, I beg for asw assistance and those, my condition touch their heart always give me their widow’s mite through which my children and I feed on. Even those things people give to me are not always enough for us to feed,” she said.

Beatrice lamented that her condition has brought untold hardship to them and called on government at all levels, public spirited individuals, Non-Governmental Organizations and corporate organizations to come to her aid. She said because of her condition, her children have dropped out of school for lack of money. “My children are no longer going to school because no money to train them and nobody ask about our welfare.

The one out of five of them that was attending school has dropped out because of my condition. He is a little boy of 14 and what he does is menial jobs for people so as to support the family.

“We have no place to live as house, the one we were living, has fallen down to the foundation level. It is my son that has been battling to erect another thatch house for us to live. He has dropped out of school basically for this and his friends have been very helpful in ensuring that we have a place we can be sleeping as house.

They usually assist him in getting dry grasses which will serve as the roof of the house, baboon that will be used as planks and mud to erect the house. As you can see, the house is not even where animal can level but we will live here, all we want is a place we can be laying our heads and be sleeping each time we want to sleep.

“I need serious assistance, I want my children to go back to school, I want to be doing small business by the side of the house. People, government, public spirited individuals should come to our rescue, we are really in hell. I am grateful to God for keeping me alive but I am begging him to please bring somebody that will assist us, our condition is very bad, we need help. Whoever that knows how he/ she can help me should please do so,” she pleaded.

For her 14-year-old oldest son, life is not nice to them at all. He told New Telegraph that they have been finding it very difficult to feed because of her mother’s condition and that they have no house to put their heads.

The boy noted that he has started the process of erecting a thatch house where they will be sleeping as house and that her friends have been very supportive to them in this regard. He lamented that he has dropped out of school and he can no longer pay for his school fees and called for payment of his remaining N4, 300 as school fees after paying N4,000. Obinna said “I was not around when my mother took ill and got amputated like this. One of my father’s relatives took me out of the village to stay with him.

When my mother took ill, I was asked to return home and I did. But I’m idle and as I continue staying idle, I started thinking on what to be doing and that for people on their farms and I started making little money through which we feed. I make between N1000 and N1200 but the farm work is not always steady.

“In 2018, a man assisted me to enter school and the man has died. I was devastated because of the man’s death because if he was alive, he would have paid my school fees. The school fees was N8300 and I have paid N4,000 remaining N4,300. He added that, “my family condition is very pathetic, we need help in all ramifications. As you can see, we have no house, we are homeless. We find it very difficult to feed. My mother needs serious medical attention because her legs and hands are still decaying.

I need to go to school because if I go to school, our condition may be better in future.” On his part, a public spirited individual, Onuoha kelvin, described the condition of Mrs. Nweda as heartbreaking story. He noted that he was pushed into begging for alms to know how to help her and the family and people made some donations through which food stuffs were procured for them. Onuoha explained that the woman and her five children need serious and urgent attention. He said “the condition of Mrs. Nweda and her children is a heart breaking story.

The first day I met them, I didn’t believe that there are still people like this in our society; somebody who don’t have hands, who don’t have legs, both hands and legs are amputated with five children. “I was pushed to start begging alms for them to know how to help them. So many people have visited them to see their condition.

The woman is complaining of her legs; the artificial legs she has, is having issues and needs fixing so that it will not result to another problem from there. “If something can be established for them as little business, it will help them to be feeding from it. They also need house because they are currently living in a house which one day, somebody may remember them.

Her son is no longer active in school; today school, tomorrow menial job so as to make ends meet. He should be encouraged to be in school because it will help them in future.” Another public spirited individual, Ifeanyi Anya said, “I had to plead to my friends, well wishers and the sum of N104,000 was raised to augment their dilapidated existence which is just a temporary relief.

“You may wish to know that the artificial limbs provided to her to enable her movement are no longer functional. This circumstance has made her oldest son, Obinna and his friends to build a mud house for the family since they were no longer accommodated by relatives.

The said house is neither a hut nor a habitat. “I passionately request as follows a kind consideration in providing shelter for them, a mechanism for food to be available for them, provision of a new and functional artificial limbs for Mrs. Nweda and educational and financial support to enable the widow engage in trade and train her children.”

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