Challenges Facing Children in Salgaa
Salgaa, situated along the Nakuru-Kisumu-Eldoret Highway, is a transit town with a beehive of commercial activities and a thriving industrial sector. The multitude of cargo trucks parked along the highway; brings an influx of long-distance drivers, emanating from various East African Countries, to the area. The stopovers they make at the town, throughout the day and night, have elevated Salgaa into a 24-hour buzzing economy with numerous opportunities for investors.
But beneath the allure of Salgaa, lurks a myriad of development challenges that are affecting the well-being of children. Cases of prostitution and alcoholism are rife in the area. As children watch their parents and other residents partaking in these harmful social behaviors, they too learn to embrace them. This exposes them to various forms of violence such as sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies, child neglect, and child prostitution. In addition, children go through education challenges due to the dilapidated school infrastructure in Salgaa and lack of adequate learning
Access to clean and safe water is also a major challenge for children and families in Salgaa. A majority of households in the outskirts of the town rely on unsafe water sources. This predisposes children to a myriad of waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera. It also robs them of sufficient time to play and learn, since they are forced to walk over long distances each day, in search of water.
Despite Salgaa being a hub for economic activities, a majority of families wallow in poverty and struggle to provide basic needs for their children such as sufficient food (leading to poor nutrition), adequate shelter, and clothing.
The desperation to make ends meets pushes families and even children to embrace commercial sex work so as to make quick money. This has contributed to the high prevalence of HIV infection in Salgaa. The community also grapples with maternal and child health challenges, as well as physical disability and trauma cases caused by road accidents that are common in Salgaa.