Students and local tourists sexually harrassed in Kwale beaches
23 June 2016, 16:32
Nairobi - Unsuspecting school going children and tourists who cannot swim are most of the sexual harassment victims by beach boys in the south coast public beaches, a local tourist has said.
Janet Osio said she recently witnessed sexual harassment in Diani beach of unsuspecting ladies who were being helped to swim by beach boys.
She urged the police and county government to intervene and arrest the situation which might be scaring most of the potential visitors in the area away.
Diani beach is one of the best beaches which has attracted not only tourists from across the globe but also students from various secondary and universities across the country.
Girls helped to swim by beach boys are said to be sexually harassed and have nowhere to report or they feel ashamed and decided to remain silent.
It is a situation Osio who said she witnessed such incident describes as dehumanizing and called for urgent action to bring sanity.
“Unsuspecting visitors get beach boys who help them to swim but what happens in the waters becomes dehumanizing when ladies and girls are sexually harassed,” said Osio in Diani on Wednesday.
“And the most painful part of it is when victims of sexual harassment reported to those who we thought were in position to help only laughed them off,” she added.
She said the county government has responsibility to ensure all public beaches are safe if they want to restore tourism which is one of their revenue source in the area.
“They should bring modalities of registration of the beach boys and introduce women who can help ladies who do not know how to swim. It will help curbing the issue and make it be easier to report the matter because you know the person you are dealing with,” said Osio.
Most of the girls being affected are unsuspecting students from secondary and university from up country mostly during holiday season.
“You find that their parents and teachers never accompany them in the water and are only left at the mercy of the beach boys who sexually abuse them while helping them to swim,” she added.
Osio said that something can be done urgently to rescue the situation.
South Coast Association of Local Tour Operators (SALTO) Sally Mathenge condemned the issue and urged visitors touring the beach to seek help from beach operators instead of beach boys.
“We are going to station our officials in the public beaches so that visitors can be helped and avoid seeking beach boys help. They have destroyed the image of this region,” he added.
She admitted such incidents occurs mostly in public beach including Two fishes and Trade wings.
“We are trying our best to get rid of the beach boys who have continued to harass tourists in the beaches. We want them to be identified if found harassing tourists so that they can face the full force of the law,” she noted
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