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Citizen Weekly

Thursday 31 July 2014


A number of families in Nyanza region are breaking up in what is now commonly known as Sex for Fish trade or sometimes referred to as "Fish for Sex". This is a trade in which female traders engage in sexual relationships with fishermen to secure their supply of fish.

Investigations by Weekly Citizen reveal that women fish traders are often pressured into having sex with the fishermen who supply them with daily fresh fish. Along the beaches where the sex for fish practices have been observed, the fishermen do maintain several transactional sexual relationships with women at different beaches where they land with their fish.

At Sori beach in Migori County along the source of Lake Victoria female fishmongers scramble along the beach to buy fish, shouting their names out to get the attention of the fishermen and cartels (jo achumbo) that control the trade.

We came across a young girl aged between 15 and 18 years  among the jostling fishmongers. She is dressed in a conspicuous mini-skirt and a short blouse that strains to cover her umbilical cord. Her hair is neatly plaited making her easy to notice.

 Her beauty is instantly noticed by the young and energetic fishermen who handover the best of their catch for fewer amounts in good faith. A new trend referred to as ‘jaboya’ where a fishmonger and fisherman indulge in sex is sky rocketing along the beaches in Luo Nyanza.

One lady confessed thus “I have been having unprotected sex with different fishermen and their beach leaders for the last eight years since I dropped out of school. My parents passed away in the same year and my younger brother and I had no one to turn to, the only solution was him to go and look after some village tycoons cattle as I entered this field. I knew what men want and I was ready to exchange it with money. Wearing short skirts or tight trousers doesn’t cost much and I was ready for easy and fast cash. I’m still in the field despite losing some of my lady friends and clients”.

Some local NGOs have now launched campaign against the “fish for sex” telling the fishermen about the dangers of the trade and HIV/ AIDS.

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