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Flower farms identified as child labour hotspots in Nakuru

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Informal settlements and estates hosting flower farm workers have been identified as some of the major hotspots in cases of child abuse and neglect in Nakuru County.

According to data from the Department of Children Affairs in Nakuru, over 9,000 cases were reported in the 11 sub-counties with information emerging that the trend was on the rise.

To address the norms, K-Note, a non-governmental organization has partnered with local communities to reduce the cases under the Tetea programme that has been sponsored by the EU.

According to Alice Wanyonyi, the Children officer in the county, hundreds of cases mainly in the rural areas and informal settlements were not reported.

She said that the department was working closely with other stakeholders in creating awareness in a bid to bring down the abuse cases that had seen hundreds of children drop out of school.

“Last year, we recorded over 9,000 cases of child abuse and neglect and we know the figures could be higher and it’s time we acted on this,” she said.

Speaking in Karagita Naivasha during an awareness clinic organized by K-Note organization, Wanyonyi noted that the county did not have a Child protection policy.

“Such a policy would come in handy in addressing the rising cases of abuse and neglect targeting minors in the county,” she said.

On his part, John Kinuthia from Naivasha Gender Based Networking Cluster added that defilement cases were also on the rise mainly in the informal settlements.

He said that the cluster was working with other stakeholders in creating awareness among the community with Karagita, Mai Mahiu, Kihoto and Kabati estates being the most affected.

“We have seen an upsurge in cases of Gender Based Violence in several informal settlements in Naivasha which incidentally host flower farm workers,” he said.

Maureen Nacho from CISP organization said that the Tetea programme involved working with the community to identify the abuse cases and how to resolve them.

“Before we had a baseline survey where areas affected by these negative norms were identified before we engaged the community on how to identify and solve them,” she said.

A community health promoter Elizabeth Wanjiu identified early marriages, teenage pregnancies and abuse of substances as some of the challenges currently facing Maella ward.

“We are worried by the high school dropout in Maella area with underage girls getting married off to hide the pregnancies and we hope the Tetea programme will assist,” she said.

 

 

 

 

Antony Kioko
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