The novel coronavirus has adversely affected the global community and like most countries, Kenya has not been spared. Kenya’s international trade performance, its financial and commodity markets, and the entire macroeconomic environment have all been affected.
The first case of COVID-19 in Kenya was reported on March 13th, 2020. Soon after, the government took several measures to slow the spread of the virus and to address its health effects, including a dawn to dusk curfew, restrictions on public gatherings, school closings, recommendations to work from home, and social distancing measures.
But just a few months ago the positivity rate lowered leading to the vacation of many containment measures including the curfew lift which as left commercial s3x works really grateful.
Mombasa s3x workers happy after curfew lift, narrate their hardships
S3x workers drawn from Mombasa county lauded the government’s move to lift the nationwide curfew. They are hopeful that their business will soon swing into full action.
Nkoko Injuu Africa, a CBO that champions the rights of s3x workers across the coast region through its Executive Director Maryline Laini said that s3kx workers had welcomed the move since they had gone without work for close to two years.
She noted that they expected booming business in the next two months. According to her, this was some good news to them as they expected to earn more now that the festive season is approaching.
She confessed to having gone without income since March 2020, and they are now ready to resume business full time in order to put food on their tables.
She however called on the government to extend the time for operations of bars, clubs, and buses since those are areas where they usually meet their clients.
“With the removal of the curfew, we expected closing of bars and restaurants not to be affected since these are areas where we get our clients for the revival of the economy. Let government agencies consider bars and hotels to operate full time to allow us to earn a living too,” Laini added.
She noted that with the government’s measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus, s3kx workers had been forced to work during the day, in their houses, clients' vehicles, and bushes, which she says was not sufficient.
“We have experienced tough times with lack of facilities to do decent business. At times, despite the risks involved, we were being forced to take clients into our houses or offer services in the bush just to earn that extra coin,” she said.
The organization has over 4000 registered s3kx workers in parts of Kisauni and Nyali in Mombasa.
How covid 19 affected s3x workers
Since last year the world was reeling from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic, a plague whose effects have affected all segments of society.
Such was been the predicament of s3kx workers operating in Mombasa and Kilifi counties whose fortunes have dipped as they struggle to adjust to the new normal.
Regarded as the world’s oldest profession, the trade was hit hard when the government announced a raft of measures including a curfew meant to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
S3x workers narrate their troubles before the curfew lift
Just a few months ago in Malindi town, a group of s3x workers congregated as they sought to find common ground. Speaker after speaker narrating of their tribulations occasioned by the pandemic, some of which are heart-breaking. One of their own was badly wounded during a night police operation targeting those flouting the curfew.
For Zainab Mwandime nothing had prepared them for what hit them. The coronavirus pandemic reduced them to paupers. The closure of bars and br0thels meant that they could not operate.
The group said the government should have considered s3kx workers as among essential service providers.
“Sex workers were providing essential services. That service was interrupted with the containment measures. The government should have considered us for support.” Argued members of the group.
According to Maryline Laini, the containment measures resulted in unique challenges for s3x workers.
“All the bars, br0thels clubs and hotspots were closed and their work was put on hold without warning. Mind you, most of the s3kx workers were migrants from other counties.” She says.
Back then with the resumption of the face to face learning, the group said education for their children has been interrupted as most had already relocated with their families in search of a soft landing after their fortunes tumbled. But all that has come to an end following the curfew lift.
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