Submitted by Community on Tue, 2012-10-09 11:05
- STORIES FROM MAAI MAHIU, KENYA -
The staple food in Kenya is maize. It is grown in many parts of the country, especially the Rift Valley, central and western Kenya. It is also the staple food crop in Maai Mahiu, home of the CTC International Kenya office. This year, the maize crop has been destroyed in many parts by a viral infection. Farmers have suffered hefty losses from this and in some areas families are going hungry.
Despite the decreased production, maize is being transported from Uganda and Tanzania to the national milling companies in Nairobi, through the town of Maai Mahiu. The half-dry maize cereal is being fully dried in Maai Mahiu, since it is directly on the transportation route. Men are now finding casual employment and receiving instant income, which exposes them to the temptation of sex workers. This results in a higher than normal, at-risk population with regards to HIV/STI infections.
Temporary, unhygienic food sheds and kiosks have also popped up around Maai Mahiu, further increasing health and sanitation risks. The locals, especially women and children, even sweep and collect the spilt cereals for consumption! All in all, this circumstance is just another effect from the season’s peak that comes annually in Maai Mahiu.
Emily Wairimu, CTC HTC Counselor