Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

Africa’s largest slum, Kibera, is in Kenya, and water shortages for the local population are so severe that girls desperate for water are often forced into sex in exchange.

Africa: the largest slum, forced trade of sex for water
Africa: the largest slum, forced trade of sex for water


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The government says it now wants to tackle the problem, which is prevalent in many rural communities. Caroline Munyuki (pseudonym) lives in Kibera, a notorious slum in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Recently, one of his sixteen-year-old daughters was sexually abused by several men living in his neighborhood. The reason was that this girl was looking for drinking water. Kenya’s Kibera township is Africa’s largest slum with constant water shortages.

Monyuki told Deutsche Welle that she has been living in the slum for over a decade. He said, “Water is our biggest problem. We do not have any arrangement of pipes through which we can get water. There are many agents providing water, which actually create problems for us and thus become the cause of our problems.”

Threats to parents of girls

Many parents, like Caroline Monyuki, send their children, especially girls, to search for water. A mother of two such daughters states cautiously, “We usually send our young girls to fetch water from shopkeepers, who in return demand sexual favors from them and They take advantage of our compulsions.

Not wanting to put her daughter in any danger, the woman refrained from sharing the details of her daughter’s abuse as the perpetrators threatened her not to talk about it.

Examples of sexual abuse

The perpetrators threatened Caroline Munyuki that if she spoke out about the sexual abuse and abuse of one of her daughters, they would release a video of her daughter having sex.

Caroline Monyuki said in a statement, “Most of our children are lured to water in exchange for sex. The perpetrators then take pictures and videos of their crimes,” he added, adding that victims are often warned that if they do not continue or consent to the sexual activity, they will be punished. , then videos of them being sexually assaulted will be posted on social media.

According to Monyuki, some cases of sexual assault happen close to home. Some of these also occur in community toilets. This form of exploitation is very common and girls have no awareness and awareness about what is going to happen to them.

According to, a non-governmental organization that works to provide water and sanitation services around the world, 15 percent of Kenya’s population of 53 million rely on uncertain or unreliable water sources. . Including rivers, drains and ponds etc. About 41% of Kenyans are facing serious problems of sanitation, sewage disposal etc. Especially those who live in rural areas and slums of Kenya do not have access to clean drinking water because they lack access to pipelines.

According to the organization’s estimates, the average cost of supplying water from unreliable sources and from remote areas is 38 dollars or 35 euros per month.

Women are not safe

According to the Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network (KwasNet), women no longer feel safe fetching water for their homes, and the civil society organization has launched a regular campaign to end these abuses. Who is

Vincent Oma, head of programming at KivasNet, told DW that the number of women victims of abuse may be higher than previously estimated, as many victims continue to suffer these sexual assaults in silence. According to Vincent Oma, “As a community, as a society, there is silence about this, because it is considered shameful but also a crime. We don’t recognize that it’s a problem, but it’s a very important problem.”

“We have studied slums and found that at least nine percent of girls are sexually exploited there,” Uma added.

Kenyan authorities have also confirmed this alarming trend. The Principal Secretary for Higher Education and Research, Beatrice Anyangala, told DW that the problem is more prevalent in poorer communities. The government has reiterated its commitment to ending the painful reality of forced sex to fetch water, but authorities in Nairobi have yet to ensure safe access to clean water for communities deprived of basic necessities such as water. I am also facing difficulties.

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