“We cry ourselves to sleep” –the plight of the adolescent girl during COVID 19
Walking through the shanty houses one cannot but wonder if those in informal settlements are safe from this pandemic. With the rising gender based violence and street harassment are the girls safe in this squalid neighborhood that is already straining from the stark poverty?
What measures is the government taking to prevent sexual harassment and violence affecting our girls and women with disability in informal settlements?. Achieng responded to this question during an awareness campaign on COVID 19 held in the slum by Polycom Development.
She says, “We are not able to learn well from home. There are a lot of distractions from outside from neighbors and little children playing”. She continues to say that sanitation is a big challenge. They cannot access tap water but can only hope for rain. “Our parents are jobless, we don’t have food, we sometimes cry ourselves to sleep when my parents don’t get anything for our empty stomachs and sometimes we shut our ears as our parents bicker about the whole night. This has often led to violence metted on my mother”.
“This for me is so painful”. She says amidst sobs. “I wish COVID 19 never traced its way to Africa”.