Increasing incidents of suicide in Kirinyaga County have now become a matter of great concern to the government, according to Daniel Ndege, Deputy County Commissioner Kirinyaga Central.
Ndege speaking during the burial at Njegas of Gerald Ngigi Mwai, a nephew to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, said the State is profiling reported cases to establish the reasons for the upsurge in suicides with an aim of containing the trend.
“We can no longer bury our head in the sand but we must come out as leaders and provide lasting solutions to the issues affecting our youth driving them to the point of taking their lives,” he said.
The administrator said the government has moved to contain the production of illicit brews and peddling of drugs which is highly attributed to the suicidal incidents in the county.
“We want people to be sober which can only be achieved in the absence of cheap liquor and drugs,” said Ndege.
Ndege urged elders to take their role of guidance in solving family disputes and social breakdown if the incidents have to come down.
He said chiefs and their assistants have also been advised to take up the matter and provide a solution for emerging issues, especially issues touching on land disputes.
“The government has taken a step and has posted psychology experts in health facilities to assist those who may be having problems that call for counselling,” he said.
Ndege urged all the stakeholders to join hands in an effort to address the situation which he described as bordering on a county catastrophe.
He said reports of suicide-related deaths in Kirinyaga have been on the increase, specifically among the youth who hold the future of the country.
Mwai who before his death worked as a police officer at Itabua police station in Embu is said to have taken his own life on September 29, 2019, at the age of 33 years.
The Principal Secretary Water Irungu Wairagu who spoke on behalf of Kibicho said two of the children the officer left behind would be assisted to grow up to be responsible people.
A Kirinyaga elder James Mureithi Kangara who also addressed the mourners said the elders of Kiama Kiama have come up with a programme that will enhance the guidance of the youth.
He said coordinated efforts by elders will seek to ensure young men are equipped with right social counselling which will prepare them to face life appropriately.
“As of now, the boy child has been neglected and is feeling abandoned and thus many suicidal cases involving the young men,” he said
Kangara said the elders are drawing up a schedule where they will try to reach to as many youth as possible in the entire county of Kirinyaga.
“Had we managed to reach Mwai, perhaps he would still be living today; we want to give them counsel,” he said.
A representative of the police Samuel Gitau who is also a police chaplain at the station where the deceased last served urged the public to support the force through prayers.
He said police work under difficult conditions while keeping law and order and added they need empathy and collaboration from the public to make their work easier.
Gitau said the government should roll out the policy of chaplaincy and counselling in the police force to deal with issues affecting their everyday life.
He said the deceased was granted off duty to go home as he appeared unwell only for his station to receive reports that he had committed suicide.