Estates that host flower farm workers in Naivasha have been identified as hotspots for Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases.
Harsh economic times, mental illness and substance abuse are responsible for the rising cases of domestic violence and defilement.
This emerged during the ongoing 16 Days of Activism against GBV where informal settlements were identified as the main areas of abuse cases.
Naivasha GBV cluster group John Kinuthia said the harsh economic times have affected families leading to a rise in cases of domestic violence.
Kinuthia noted that they were recording at least four cases of domestic violence or sexual abuse weekly from the informal settlements that are home to hundreds of flower farm workers.
He said some of the affected estates include Kihoto, KCC, Karagita, Mai Mahiu, Kabati and South Lake where cases of early pregnancies and early marriages are the norm.
“We are working closely with various organizations in sensitization, the harsh economic times have played a critical role in the rising numbers,” he said.
Maella MCA Jane Gituko blamed poverty and unemployment for the high cases of defilement and child abuse in the ward.
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Ms Gituko said that hundreds of men were silently suffering and it was time they came out to speak so that they can get support.
“Many people in Maella are economically challenged and this has contributed a lot to cases of gender-based violence but we have embarked on engagement at family levels,” she said.
Richard Muthini from Fida said that they were keen on eliminating GBV which affects the most vulnerable in the community.
He revealed that they were working with leaders at the grassroots in the dissemination of information and counselling targeting victims of GBV.
“In Naivasha, the affected areas have already been mapped out and we have rolled out a sensitization campaign as part of uprooting this archaic culture,” he said.
Wambere Migwi said that persons living with disabilities were the most affected by GBV because some cannot defend themselves.
“We do not have sign-language-leaders in many police stations and the deaf who have been abused cannot report or express what happened,” she said.