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Sex workers want Joho’s food

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[Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho. Photo/GPS].

Sex works in Mombasa have appealed for inclusion in the ongoing Mombasa county relief food program.

The sex workers said they have been discriminated from the relief food program despite going through serious economic challenges.

Speaking in Mombasa through ‘Nkoko Iju Africa’ a nongovernmental organisation conducting health and economic empowerment programs for young mothers said the sex workers some of whom have families are going through drastic economic challenges.

Nkoko Iju Africa Executive Director Marylyn Laini said the sex workers are facing it roughly since most of their places of ‘work’ were shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

She urged Mombasa county government to consider the women who some have stopped taking their medication too due to lack of food.

Economic challenges

“These women are living in desperation as some cannot fend for their families,” she noted.

Ms Laini however said the organisation is conducting counselling sessions to the women to enable them venture into alternative income generating activities.

“However, we are not forcing them to stop doing their work, for those who arrived at a decision of abandoning sex work we help them venture into other activities among the detergents and soap making small businesses,” she said.

[Elizabeth Mbuli (L) receiving sanitary towels from Nkoko Iju Africa Executive Director Marylyn Laini (R). Photo/ Haramo Ali].

The gender activist also called on health support for the women.

She said some of the women cannot access health services after some health institutions providing them with counselling and health interventions were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Laini said the program highly depends on financial support from various institutions and individuals who have also been economically affected by the deadly Coronavirus.

Recently, sex workers in Mtwapa, Kilifi, Mombasa and Taita taveta counties protested closure of clubs and other entertainment joints they called their ‘working place’.

They said they were facing economic challenges due to the closure of the joints urging the government to reopen them.