By The Coast Newspaper Team
A section of sex workers in Mombasa County have decried being side-lined in the COVID-19 relief food distributed by the county government of Mombasa.
The move according to the workers has led them live in abject poverty as they cannot afford to meet their daily needs during this period the country is battling the corona pandemic.
Speaking to the media in Mombasa on Wednesday Nkoko Iju Africa Executive Director Maryland Laini said since the government introduced the partial lockdown the community has not received any relief food from Mombasa county COVID-19 emergency response committee.
Laini says the organisation has launched drive to empower sex workers through soap, jik and milk making projects as a survival tactic during the corona period.
“We have a total of 177 registered members. Registration fee is sh200. In the last census in Nyali Sub County there were over 2000 sex workers while Kisauni Sub County has almost the same figure,” she noted.
The director urged the country’s political leadership to focus their attention in battling the corona pandemic instead of diverting people’s attention by playing politics.
Laini claimed in the process money meant for the purchase of health commodities is looted by a few ‘greedy’ individuals.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Mbuli Nkoko Iju Africa board member said the organisation has partnered with other stakeholders to economically empower the less fortunate in society.
Mbuli asked single mothers to form groups so as to start income generating activities hence empower them economically.
“It is time for single parent families to step up efforts in improving their economic standards. As an organisation we are ready to assist them in training them in various field.” she noted.
The board member argued that with such skills gained she was sure that their lives would automatically be better.
The human rights defender wants the county government to chip in and fund the organisation in order to reach out a larger number of the needy communities.
At the same time, Margaret Kisia one of the members asked single mothers to utilize the knowledge gained iso that they improved their living standards.
Kisia thanked the organisation for the initiative adding that it will empower their economic status.
“The knowledge that we have gained here will assist us in improving our welfare. Single mothers should take advantage of this kind of opportunity and therefore benefit. ” adviced Kisia.
The organisation champions for the rights of sex workers through paralegal and health services and also social justice in Mombasa county.
The organisation appreciates donation from collaboration in women in development CWID.