Sex worker appeals as kids go 3 days without food



MASVINGO – A sex worker who stays in Mashava in Masvingo is appealing for food assistance from well-wishers as her four children have gone for three days without food because her business has been affected by the Covid19 lockdown.

Ree Chaumba (40) told The Mirror that her four children have been surviving on chicken offals donated to her by a sympathetic chicken farmer. These offals have now run out, she said, and her children have not had food for three days.

Chaumba who is also a peer educator for Sex Workers Advocacy Group (SWAG) said the situation is like that for over 250 sex workers living in Mashava. Unlike in Harare and other towns, sex workers in Mashava have never received any assistance during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The problem for sex workers is worsened by the fact that a large number of them are on Anti Retroviral Drugs (ART) or Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) and people on such drugs require a lot of food. PREP is a drug which reduces a person’s chances of contracting AIDS after sex.

“More than 90% of sex workers and their families here are starving. They have no alternative source of income. Unfortunately Government has not been able to look into our situation since the lockdown started.

“My four children have been sleeping on empty stomachs for the past three days and I just don’t know what to do,” said Chaumba.

She said her members have only received face masks and counseling from PSI, BHASO and CESHA.

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