A Standard Eight boy from Tumbura area in Kathuura Sub-Location, Tharaka South Sub-County in Tharaka Nithi County died and another is hospitalised at Marimanti Level Four Hospital after reportedly consuming poisonous wild honey.
Confirming the incident, Turima Location Chief Philip Mutugi said an elderly man who had reportedly harvested the honey and helped the two boys on Thursday was also treated at Kibunga Sub-County Hospital.
“The boys were reportedly given the honey by the elderly man who had harvested the honey from a tree locally known as muthigu but investigations are ongoing to establish the truth,” said Mr Mutugi.
The administrator warned the locals against consuming wild honey known as nchuura in the local dialect, which is not made by the common bees but by a species of smaller ones that do not sting and mainly live in hollow trees or abandoned holes in the ground locally known as tuchuura.
Locals believe that nchuura, which is eaten raw, is medicinal and it is highly sought after, especially by pastoralists.
Cases of deaths caused by consuming wild honey are rampant in Tharaka constituency, an area known in the entire Mt Kenya region for the production of honey.
Vomiting few hours after consuming the honey, the victims became weak and start vomiting, diarrhearing and complaining of stomach pains and if not treated they die in the next few hours.
In August last year, two children died and 19 adults from Rukaani village in Tharaka North Sub-County were treated in the same health facility after reportedly consuming poisonous nchuura which had been harvested by loggers who had cut a tree for timber.
In the previous month, two people from Kiaruni village in Tharaka South Sub-County also died and eight others were treated at the same hospital after consuming the same nchuura.
In July 2021, three people from Muguruka village in Turima location died and four others were treated at the same hospital after reportedly consuming a brew made from the common honey locally known as Uki made by the common bees referred to as Njuki in the local dialect.
The incident came just a day after a seven-year-old boy in Gichiini village in Tharaka North Sub-County had died and four others were successfully treated at a hospital in Mukothima after eating raw common honey.
In the previous month, two family members from Riamikui village the same sub-county had died and another was successfully treated at Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital after reportedly consuming poisonous honey.
Though in all the cases government reportedly took the killer honey samples for test, it has never told the members of the public about the dangerous chemical and whether is harvested while contaminated or it is messed up after.
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