Kenyan flower workers crisis

7 February 2008 - 4:51pm

In the early weeks of the crisis the flower-growing region was unaffected. But by the end of January the violence spread to Lake Naivasha, where local residents have been victims of violence and displacement, with many workers' homes burnt to the ground. Workers have been unable to reach their jobs fear losing their employment altogether.

War on Want supports the Kenyan Women Workers Organisation (KEWWO), which works to improve the lives of Kenya's female farm workers. Women on flower farms are the most vulnerable workers, and many report instances of abuse from their supervisors. Often migrants they lack the stability of community ties, and many are on seasonal or casual contracts, meaning their jobs are insecure. They are undoubtedly hit particularly hard by the continuing chaos.

Kathini Maloba, President of KEWWO, told War on Want that while many of the large farms are able to look after their workers to some extent, it is those on small farms that are most vulnerable. Some workers have been forced to sleep in police stations or even local prisons for their own protection.

Explaining that workers in the region are traumatised, Maloba said that political "leaders don't speak the workers' language due to class difference. It is therefore imperative that an organisation such as KEWWO spearheads this detraumatising process."


Latest news

Reaction: UK abstention from UN Gaza vote makes a mockery of commitment to international law

19 May 2018 - 9:00am

Trusting that Israel can fairly and neutrally investigate its own war crimes is an insult to any common sense definition of justice, and makes a mockery of the UK’s stated commitment to international law, human rights, and accountability

Read more

Press release: BP’s Manchester shareholder meeting faces protest over fracking and human rights abuses

16 May 2018 - 11:45am

Oil company’s first ever Annual General Meeting in Manchester faces protest with participants from communities affected by BP’s operations in Argentina and Colombia.

Read more

Join the conversation

Hold to account for the social and environmental devastation have brought to Argentina and Colombia. Demand… 11 hours 40 min ago
Forcible displacement is a war crime. The UK must insist on the implementation of Palestinians' , in… 12 hours 26 min ago
Important call from Palestinian human rights groups for international civil society to undertake campaigns to… 12 hours 28 min ago