SOME Maswa District residents have urged the government and other stakeholders to intensify war against child labour, a problem that seems to be common in the area.
They told the 'Daily News' over the weekend that the children, aged between nine to 10 years are mostly hired for petty businesses at bus stands and commodities auctioning areas, alias 'Minada'.
"This situation denies them an access to education and other basic rights. Worse still, the children are paid very minimal wages, only 1,000/- or 2,000/- in a day," lamented one of the residents, Mr Juma Said.
He added that a simple observation showed that some children are not even paid, but given only a single meal (lunch).
According to Said, food vendors, commonly known as 'mama lishe' is among the groups that encourage child labour and give food to those minors as payment, simply because the minors have no power to negotiate.
"This is a serious challenge as it puts the children on risky environment," he stressed.
Another resident, Ms Gift Clement, supported the motion but also blaming some parents and guardians, who let their children engage in such businesses, just to have breads for families.
According to her, the children have been also hired for house-maid chores but given only food.
"The situation is dangerous especially to female children as it propels risky environment which leads in to early pregnancies and sexual violence in general," she said.
The 'Daily News' also met some children (names withheld), with some telling that they are forced to engage in the businesses due to their families' financial hardships.
The children also admitted to have been paid a very minimal wages, and sometimes nothing, but only foods.
Reached for comments, Maswa District Commissioner (DC), Mr Aswege Kaminyoge, said he was aware of the situation and already directed Community Development and Social Welfare Departments to immediately work on it.