Water shortage fuels domestic violence

Bamba residents, mostly women struggle to access water which has become a rear commodity in Ganze Sub-County. Picture by Yusuf Ali
Bamba residents, mostly women struggle to access water which has become a rear commodity in Ganze Sub-County. Picture by Yusuf Ali

Water shortage that is being experienced in Ganze sub-county in Kilifi County is now a threat to many marriages in the area.

Women have to walk for long distances before they can access the precious commodity. Majority of these still have to meet other obligations including conjugal rights before they can sleep.

Many women interviewed at the only dam available, Bimzhoga Pan in Bamba said that they were being forced by their husbands to engage in sex when they returned home.

Esther Menza from Kidemu village said: “Our husbands need to understand that conjugal rights depend on a relaxed mind since we are often disturbed by the long distance in search of water.”

Water scarcity in this area has been experienced since independence and there has been no major intervention in tackling the problem by political leaders.

Judith Uchi, a women rights activist in Ganze sub-county said that men should know that women go through problems in raising their families and they should understand them but not to harass them.

Uchi urged men to respect their wives and give them enough time to take up their roles accordingly.

Intervention

She said: “Women walk long distances looking for this commodity and they should not be forced to have sex. As

Women get water from well-wishers Pictures by Yusuf Amin

Women get water from well-wishers
Pictures by Yusuf Amin

women leaders we also call upon the county government to intervene and make sure that the water shortage problem is solved in the area.”

Sidi Charo said that more dams need to be dug in Bamba, Vitengeni, Jilla and other areas which are often hit by drought.

She wondered why there is no tap water despite the area having taps since time of independence adding that as at now the only dam Bimzhoga served more than 5,000 people in the area but the residents are worried since it might soon dry up.

Kilifi county women representative Getrude Mbeyu commenting on the issue noted with concern that men should understand their wives especially at this time when the water shortage is being experienced in many parts of the county.

Addressing residents recently Mbeyu who has been in the front-line in fighting for the rights of women urged men to discard retrogressive tradition.

She promised to come up with strategies of making sure that there will be no wrangles in many marriages in the county.

Water Executive Member in Kilifi county government Kiringi Mwachitu said that the county is on high speed to initiate more water projects in many parts of Ganze sub-county and asked men to assist their wives in fetching water from the dams.

He said: “This is a collective responsibility men should assist their wives in making sure that water is at home every time. The county government will dig more boreholes in the region as one way of tackling the problem.”

Many residents blamed poor leadership for the problems they are undergoing going through since the area has been in the news for hunger and water shortage every year.

Kaya elders led by Katana Kifola asked the county government to come up with proper strategies of rescuing the marriages that are at the verge of collapsing.

“There is no need for marriages to break and therefore the government need to intervene by making sure that women access water at the right time and place,” he added.