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Mubende Municipality Considering YLP Funds, Other Grants to End Prostitution

Mubende, just like many other towns along highways in Uganda, is struggling with the challenge of prostitution involving young girls. The major streets in the town turn into brothels as soon as it gets dark.

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Mubende Municipal authorities are considering tapping into the Youth Livelihood Programme, Uganda Woman Empowerment Programme funds and other grants meant for special interest groups to combat the increasing levels of prostitution in the area.   

  Mubende, just like many other towns along highways in Uganda, is struggling with the challenge of prostitution involving young girls. The major streets in the town turn into brothels as soon as it gets dark.        The most worrying trend is that most of the commercial sexual workers who pour on the streets are girls of 15 to 25 years of age. They offer sex for as cheap as Shillings 2000. Ben Baraza, the Principal Community Development Officer Mubende Municipality, says the challenge of commercial sex workers is getting bigger to an extent that it is becoming normal in the eyes of the community. 

He blames the problem on poverty, poor parenting and the diverse cultures. “Many parents here don’t send girls to school and they don’t mind about them. Some parents send them away from home and once a child is not in school, she is open to all these vices thus ending up trapped in prostitution for their life time,” says Baraza.   

Several efforts by government and non-government organizations to pull the girls off the streets are yet to yield results. Baraza says their main to get the girls off the streets has been lack of the financial muscles since many see the vice as their only source of income.  

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Mildmay Uganda intervened with the Dreams project through, which is has been pulling the girls from the streets and offer them a safe space before they are equipped with vocational skills for survival.

  Mubende Municipal authorities, says this is the best strategy to get the girls off the streets. Baraza says the strategy can work as the girls and their young adults counterparts in commercial sex are given vocational training and supported through the mainstream government projects like YLP and UWEP.   

 

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He adds that they are planning how best the initiative can be implemented. The authorities have identified baking, tailoring, hair dressing and knitting as some of the viable projects that can help the girls.

  Sarah Nyamwongo ,17, one of the former commercial sex workers undergoing vocational training under the Dream project, says most of the girls just like her, end up on the streets due to lack of options, adding that once given chance they can reform and live normally.   

 

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Nyamwongo says they can start over and have a better life with the skill they have acquired once the municipality gives them a push.

  However, Immaculate Nantayi, the Buwekula County Chief, says without tackling the issue of parenting in the area, all efforts by the authorities may go to waste.  

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