Poverty and lack of role models plunges children into child prostitution and alcoholism in Salgaa

By Lydia Gichuki

Children in Salgaa town in Nakuru County are plunging into child prostitution and alcoholism as the town struggles with poverty and lack of role models.

Salgaa is a transits town is located along Nakuru-Kisumu highway and for this reason has an influx of long-distance truck drivers from various East African countries who make stop overs at this town. The high prevalence of prostitution in this town has exposed children to various challenges among them child prostitution.

According to World Vision, 29 percent of people living in Salgaa earn less than Sh100 a day and this pushes them to indulge in unhealthy behaviors such as prostitution which in turn fuels other vices such as alcoholism and drug abuse.

Sarah Ronoh a child protection expert in Salgaa says that children in the areas take after their parents who are in prostitution and alcoholism. As a consequence most of these children are exposed to various forms of violence such as sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies, child neglect and child prostitution.

‘The challenge we are facing in terms of child protection is lack of role models, the people who  are expected to be role models are their mothers who practice commercial sex work, so the children pick what they do and practice it,’ she said

Child prostitution becomes rampart as families allow their children to engage in this vice as a quick way of making money and fixing poverty problem.

To this end, she added most of the children drop out of school as these parents do not value education plunging the community into perpetual poverty cycle.

Due to the high prevalence of prostitution, HIV/Aids prevalence is also high which leads to many children being orphaned when their parent passes on from the disease.

Alcoholism has led to many families being dysfunctional and this has amounted to a huge number of children suffering from neglect.

Additionally, children in Salgaa are exposed to a myriad water borne diseases as clean water is a hard to   come by, forcing them to walk long distances to look for this scare resource. This take away their play time and expose them to other forms of exploitation.

Photo credit; Kipsang Joseph,Standard

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