Karuturi, where husbands allow their wives to engage in prostitution for as little as Sh20

PROSTITUTES PHOTO/COURTESY

Former employees of the defunct Karuturi Flower Company have expressed frustrations over unpaid gratuity dues.

Female ex-workers say economic hardship has driven them into prostitution.

The women argue that commercial sex work is the only option they are left with – and that their husbands are fully aware of their new source of income.

Maureen Akinyi, a mother of three and former worker at the flower company, confirms majority of the women have resorted to commercial sex.

With as little as Sh20, she reveals most of the women are ready to compromise their dignity so as to put food on the table.

Akinyi says unlike other women, she feels the pinch of shame; hence she cannot give her body to men in exchange of money. She divulges teenage girls have also turned to the trade for money.

Akinyi’s sentiments were echoed by another ex-Karuturi worker Elizabeth Achieng* who attributes the spread of HIV/AIDS to the laying down of workers at the flower firm.

Achieng, a commercial sex worker, says their husbands are “considerate” of their woes and are willingly letting them join the frowned upon trade.

“Sometimes we request our husbands to put food on the table. Sadly, they are not able to do that. They, for that reason, give us permission to look for ‘food’ elsewhere,” says Achieng.

Akinyi has urged both levels of government to intervene and salvage the difficult situation.

Karuturi flower farm located in the south of Lake Naivasha was closed down after it went under receivership in May, 2016, rendering close to 3,000 workers jobless.

According to Elizabeth Odhiambo, a community leader, majority of former workers are uncertain of their future and are forced to resort to prostitution to make ends meet.

Ms Odhiambo said the workers were awaiting their terminal dues, adding some of the flower farms in the lake side town have refused to employ them.

She says many of the ex-workers at Karuturi are going for days without food.

Speaking on phone to eDaily, the farm’s shop steward Samson Ounda said five people have died since the farm went down the pan.

Mr Ounda says other flower farms are turning them down, and that that their unions have since neglected them.

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