Stakeholders decry rise in GBV cases in Naivasha's informal settlements

Estates that host flower farm workers are the most affected.

In Summary
  • Naivasha is home to hundreds of flower farm workers
  • Many have lost their jobs due to the harsh economic times
Stakeholders join in a walk during the ongoing 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Naivasha
GBV Naivasha Stakeholders join in a walk during the ongoing 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Naivasha
Image: George Murage

Cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) are on the rise in Naivasha with estates that host hundreds of flower farm workers mapped out as the hotspots.

Harsh economic times, mental illness and substance abuse are responsible for the rising cases of domestic violence and defilement on the increase.

This emerged during the ongoing 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence where informal settlements were fingered as the main source of the abuse cases.  

According to the coordinator Naivasha GBV cluster group John Kinuthia, the current harsh economic times have affected hundreds of families leading to a rise in cases of domestic violence.

He said 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.

Some of the estates hardest hit according to him included Kihoto, KCC, Karagita, Mai Mahiu, Kabati and South Lake with cases of early pregnancies and early marriages turning out to be the norm.

“We are working closely with various organizations in sensitization and the harsh economic times have played a critical role in the rising numbers,” he said.

Maella MCA Jane Gituko noted that poverty and unemployment had played a role in the high cases of defilement and child abuse in her ward.

She added that hundreds of men were silently suffering, noting that it was time that they came out and spoke so that they could 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.

On his part, Richard Muthini from FIDA said that they were keen on eliminating GBV adding that the most vulnerable in the community were the most affected.

He said that they were working with leaders at the grassroots in the dispensation 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.

 A disabled Wambere Migwi said that persons living with disability were the most affected by GBV adding that many due to their nature of disability could not defend themselves.

“We do not have sign-language-leaders in many police stations and the deaf who have been abused do have a hard time reporting or expressing what happened,” she said.

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