State To Establish Safe Haven For SGBV Victims

The government is set to construct 17 safe houses to support Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGVB) victims. Public Service, Gender, and Affirmative Action Cabinet Secretary (CS) Aisha Jumwa said this will enhance safe spaces, especially for women who are abused as they recover or seek legal recourse. The project, which runs up to the year 2027, she said, will see the total number of safe houses owned by the government increase to 20 as efforts to tame SGBV in the country heighten. 'So far, we only have 54 safe houses in the country, but only three are government-owned. That is why we are working to increase this to twenty,' she said. The project, she said, was being undertaken jointly through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) and development partners to ensure that SGBV victims have safe shelters across the country. 'NGAAF is one of the remedies that the government is offering, but we are also working with development partners to ensure that this project is completed,' she said. Speaking at Kasagam Police Station in Kisumu County during an inspection of a Child Protection Centre constructed through the Kisumu County Woman Representative NGAAF kitty, the CS said the intervention was critical in the wake of rising cases of SGBV in the country. Jumwa opened a similar facility at Ahero Police Station and 72 business stalls at Ombeyi in Muhoroni sub-county, both built by the NGAAF. She directed the board of NGAAF to ensure that the child protection units, which are meant to hold children who have been sexually abused, are equipped with mosquito nets and inbuilt toilets for the welfare of the children. 'These are children, some of whom have been molested by their parents or relatives, and it is important to have them inside the facility and not loitering around the police station,' she said. Source: Kenya News Agency