Kenya: Shot in the Arm for GBV Survivors in Nairobi

Nairobi County will commit at least Sh68 million towards provision of safe shelters for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the city.

The office of Nairobi Woman Representative will contribute Sh50 million under the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) while City Hall will give Sh18 million.

The money will be used to build a shelter house at Mji wa Huruma in Nairobi starting September. Nairobi has no single shelter financed by the county government.

Nairobi County Caucus leader and Nairobi County Assembly Deputy Majority Whip Waithera Chege, said the county government has only been offering integrated programs within hospitals in Nairobi like Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.

"We are looking at having the building ready by March next year," said Ms Chege during a press briefing at City Hall last Friday.

"Some victims don't even have anywhere to go to after they leave hospital... we want them to feel safe even after leaving the health facilities," she added.

The South B MCA explained that the construction of the multi-million safe house is part of the county's long term plans.

In the short term, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) together with City Hall has agreed to offer Makadara and Kayole dispensaries, capable of hosting 170 and 70 people respectively, to act as safe shelters for SGBV survivors.

This followed a directive by NMS Director General Mohamed Badi for his officers to identify idle county houses to be converted into safe shelters for the survivors.

Recovery centre

Ms Chege explained that Nairobi County continues to report increased cases of GBV across both gender. Mama Lucy Hospital has received 179 new cases and 137 survivors in the last three months, ranking as the number one gender violence recovery centre in the county.

She noted that lack of adequate financing was the biggest challenge facing the SGBV fight. She, however, said a multi-agency team comprising the national and county governments, NGOs and other partners including Centre for Education and Awareness, had been formed to source for funding to put up more SGBV shelters in the city.

"We can have the safe house but without financing we will just have an empty hall," she said.

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