We meet Lilian Komora Bahati doing her household chores. She is cleaning her pots that are dirtied with soot, a clear indication that she is using firewood to cook her foods. She welcomes us and is very eloquent in the swahili language which is a language most adored by the people in that area. Her house is fairly sized compared to the others depicting a middle income homestead.
Lilian Bahati Komora is a resident of this area and married here. She is blessed with six kids, two boys and four girls.
She was not lucky to go to college after high school. She would do office work in various offices around who would call her on short contracts. There was no organization that was willing to employ her on a permanent contract. After realizing that this was not promising she opted to get into her own businesses for sustenance. She started the business of selling second hand clothes and also ventured in agri- business. She also had a room around her house where she would run a cinema hall showing movies.
Her husband is a teacher and it is through this that she is able to support the family.
She recounts that the young girls from Tana River are so much exposed as a result of the poverty levels in the areas that makes them so vulnerable. Essential personal effects that the young girls need are not a priority for the parents to provide since the little income is only taken for provision of meals and education. It is also disheartening to learn that the men in the area are too lazy to get meaningful engagements that will bring sustainable support to the families, they wake up in the morning to go gamble in the urban centers with the little cash they have. This leaves the ladies to set out to do menial jobs to help the families. Many of the ladies are involved in charcoal burning for sale, collecting firewood for sale among other menial jobs in order to get money to take their kids to school. Since the main objective of the mother is to see their kids get education and get meals it always gets hard for the young girls to get some of the essential personal staff they need. This prompts them to get them from the eagle prey eyed men who offer to give them the items for exchange with sex and relationships. This in the long run leads to early pregnancies. Even after the pregnancies are seen it gets hard for the parents to talk to their girls or report to the authorities. This is attributed to the retrogressive culture of the local communities who instead decide to solve the issues out of court. This means that the parents of the girls will be compensated with some small money by the accused and it is believed that the case is solved. The mothers who are involved in this will even go to an extent of giving false age information of the ladies when they are taken to hospital. This is in a bid to protect arrest from chief who follow up information from the hospital social workers.
There have been efforts made by different non-governmental organizations to create awareness for parents to take their children to school.
Bahati last wishes for the community to shun their retrogressive and oppressive and cultural beliefs that will shun away the less consideration of the young girls in the area objects of sex and marriage benefits to their parents for exchange of bride price and the men for the sex satisfaction as sex and home “Donkeys” (partakers of heavy, odd jobs to make end meet for their families.
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