Maasai women in Kajiado county now bear the brunt of the drought effects which have forced them to become the families’ breadwinners after most men decried losing their sources of income to drought.
At Oloibor Ajijik, Emarti in Mashuuru devastated women narrate tales of the hardships they have endured being breadwinners without a source of income.
Speaking to K24 Digital, Janet Parkire, one of the women aforementioned stated that they are now forced to fend for their families since most men who entirely depended on their cattle for livelihood became jobless after the drought struck.
“Ordinarily, a Maasai woman depends on selling milk and artefacts. The cows have died. Our beads have no market because the industry has been marred by brokers who have pushed us out of business; As a housewife, my life revolves around doing home chores and looking after kids because men provide food and other needs for kids. However, life has changed since men who entirely depended on cattle have no source of income,” Parkire said.
Susan Kango another area resident stated that they walk several kilometres in search of manual jobs so as to feed their families.
“We are now women on the move, we cannot afford to see our children sleep hungry. We walk several kilometres looking for manual jobs. Most employers are taking advantage of us and pay us as little as Ksh 100 for work done. Our children are home and very hungry, we are only getting survival meals to sustain us, “Susan Kango said.
The effort and desperation of women sourcing food for their families is evident from the large number of women who have turned to receive relief food compared to men.
On their part, a section of men decried the situation stating that the lack of jobs has forced them not to take charge of their homes as breadwinners.
” We are willing to work but jobs are not available. For us it has to be manual jobs since we do not have academic qualifications to seek employment. We are equally disturbed over the suffering of our family and seeing our women overstretch striving to feed our families, “Mbusia Daniel a resident says
Some men have now been reduced to flocking and harvesting sand on rivers to earn a living.
Despite rains being experienced in most parts of the Country, Kajiado County is still grappling with the effects of drought.