With the population increasing and competition fierce, many women are being forced to have sex with fishermen to secure a share of the daily catch.
Wooden fishing boats piled high with mukene, small sardine-like fish native to Lake Victoria, sail towards them. When they arrive, the women seem to know exactly which fishermen they can buy from. That's because the women have to pay for their wares in a currency that cannot be seen.
It's not spoken about at Sindo Beach,
Women using fish for sex everyone knows it's part of the job: When she was younger, she spent 15 years as a fish seller. The practice of having sex with fishermen in order to secure some a share of the catch is officially known as "jaboya.
And it's a widespread phenomenon around Lake Victoria, the biggest lake in Africa, surrounded by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Fish and the fish trade are an inextricable part of life here. But overfishing and pollution have Women using fish for sex putting a strain on the lake for years now, while the introduction of the Nile perch in the s has led to the extinction of native species. Irene Ojuok, an environment management expert at aid organisation World Vision, has her own theory.
Jaboya can have deadly consequences. Women using fish for sex leave the beach at Sindo, around an hour and a half's drive down bumpy roads from the town of Homa Bay, at night and return in the early morning.
The women are waiting for them. They've slept with the fishermen beforehand, says Women using fish for sex, so they can be sure they won't come away empty-handed.
If you're a fisherman's particular "girlfriend" you might get a slightly bigger share of the catch, she says. Or you might be served first and get the freshest fish, which will sell best at the market. But sex doesn't replace money. But after the sex you have to pay him," says Caroline Alima, a year-old "Women using fish for sex" was also a fish seller for many years.
Collins Ochieng, the local government administrator at Sindo Beach, admits that "some women" have sex with the fishermen at his beach. And because the population is growing, the problem is getting worse.
The sun is now high in the sky, beating down on the beach, and most of the women have collected their fish. With the help of other women, they lay out huge nets on the sand and fasten them down with large stones. The fish have to be dried so they can sell them later at the market. If they remain wet for too long, they spoil. If you them about jaboya, most of the women will talk about it, but few will admit to doing it themselves.
Jaboya seems almost impossible to combat, but Vision and other organizations are trying to train women up in other professions in order to free them from it. Anjango and her husband have been breeding fish since last year in their own pond, which is around half the size of a tennis court.
Life is much easier now, she says. One of her three daughters sells fish now too, but she only buys it at the market, says Anjango. Ramaphosa mourns, sends condolences to Zimbabwe after deadly bus crash. Man hunt for gang who robbed cash-in-transit guards in Umzinto. Couple left traumatised after harrowing armed robbery. Fears of salmonella outbreak at uMhlanga eatery. IdolsSA's ProVerb is living his
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Women using fish for sex mother of five, has sold the fish since her husband died 10 years ago leaving her to support her family. With no other income, she was. No sex for fish: empowering women to promote health and economic and empowering women with the means of production in the industry.
Many women around Lake Victoria in Kenya are being forced to have sex with fishermen to secure a share of the daily catch.