Kenya: Increase in sexual exploitation of children due to drought

Since the beginning of this year, there has been a marked increase in the number of children (mainly young girls) that are being sexually exploited in Lodwar, Turkana’s capital. It is estimated that the number of victims has increased from 50 to 500.

Humanitarian aid

The prolonged drought in the north of Kenya has resulted in a disturbing increase in the number of children that sell their body in the urge to survive. The drought is caused by three consecutive rainy seasons with rainfall well below average. Insufficient rainfall does not only restrict water resources for humans and animals, but also has a direct impact on their food security, as crops cannot grow and grasslands are depleted.

Sexindustry often only alterative for survival

Turkana is one of the most affected areas in the dry northern region of Kenya. As a result, many families wander around, in search of grassland and water for their rapidly decreasing livestock and for themselves. As people are not even assured of one meal per day, children are forced to find ways to survive themselves. In many cases there are few alternatives and the children end up in the sex industry.

Making children less vulnerable

This is why Terre des Hommes, together with local partner Diocese of Lodwar (DOL), has initiated a humanitarian aid programme in Turkana. Emphasis is placed on food aid and food security, while there is close link with combatting child exploitation. The primary objective of our humanitarian aid is to make children less vulnerable for sexual exploitation and to ensure a reduction in the number of children that tries to survive by selling their bodies out on the streets.


Terre des Hommes’ humanitarian aid in Turkana, Kenya is made possible thanks to the Cooperating Aid Organisations (Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties). In the event of exceptional disasters, this consortium of 11 Dutch relief agencies, also known as Giro555, joins forces to appeal to the Dutch population to help the victims.

Your invaluable support

With humanitairian aid and the delivery of food we save lives and prevent exploitation of the most vulnerable children and their families in Turkana. We cannot do that without your support. Will you help us?  

Learn more about our humanitairian aid programme for children >> 

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