Clash over baby rescued from pit latrine emerges

Clash over baby rescued from pit latrine emerges
Baby who was removed from a pit latrine being carried by an aid worker after being cleaned and treated by medical personnel (photo credit: courtesy)

The five-day-old baby girl who was rescued from the pit latrine in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement on Saturday has been given to the man who found her in the latrine after an old woman who cleaned her clashed with him.

The baby, who has now been named Nyasebit (Saturday), was rescued from the latrine and claimed by an old woman called Anger Majok.

The old Anger said that when the baby was recovered from the latrine, people ran away because faeces had covered her body. She gathered courage and washed her after which she was taken to Panyadoli Health Center III.

After her discharge, Anger and Gai Kelei Leek each claimed the baby’s ownership, leading to a clash.

However, when Save the Children and IRC workers visited the baby yesterday, she was handed over to Gai.

“The baby was given to me because I found her in my latrine. No one else can claim her because it was a murder case. Anyone who claims her will be brought before the law for attempted murder. This is why I was given the baby without anyone’s claim,” Gai explained to The City Review yesterday.

He called for financial support from well-wishers from South Sudan and abroad to help him take care of the baby.

Joseph Duot Manyok, the Executive Director of Wipe Child Tears (WCT), a community-based organization in the camp, said the child almost suffocated at the latrine.

“It was by God’s grace that she was found alive. Her face had faeces and later on, after she was washed, she started vomiting maggots. It was a very sad experience,” he said.

“The baby is now healthy but lacking proper feeding and clothes.” She is under the care of Gai Kelei’s mother in the health centre,’’ he added.

Nyasebit’s rescue

It was on Friday night that an unknown mother gave birth and threw the baby in a pit latrine belonging to Gai Kelei Leek, whose family bought the home of Garang Guti in Cluster L, Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.

Gai entered the pit latrine at 5 am only to hear the cry of the baby. He came out terrified and called neighbours, saying something was crying in the latrine.

It was then that people gathered and found out that it was a baby who had been thrown into the UN dug 8 metres deep pit latrine.

Those who came to rescue had no other means but to dig around the cast latrine and remove the young Nyasebit. The women who were at the scene thanked God for saving the baby.