It’s 2:00 pm and Mary (not her real name) is lazily walking to a nearby borehole to fetch water. When she reached the borehole, everyone started speaking slowly in low tones about the rumours to ban prostitution in Rumbek town (Western Lakes State). On her way back home, she was joined by a friend who broke her the bad news.
Mary has been living in Rumbek for the past five years running a restaurant and a bar; but due to the worsening economic condition in the country, her business collapsed and she had to resort to prostitution to survive and support her family back in Uganda. She says that she makes an average of 400SSP, an equivalent of $4 USD per day.
She says that she makes an average of 400SSP, an equivalent of $4 USD per day.
“From what I make, I am able to send some money back home in Uganda at the end of every month for the welfare of my two kids who are being taken care by my grandmother”, she said.
This is about to change from bad to worse for Mary and colleagues if the proposal by the Western Lakes Assembly Speaker Marik Nanga Marik is to become true.
The Speaker said that the State legislators will discuss local laws that will ban prostitution because it’s affecting the future of children in Rumbek.
“I don’t know what to do, how will I survive with no job?”, Mary asks before adding that she can’t even go back home for fear of insecurity on the road.
However, Speaker Marik stood his ground and said “We will work hard to establish laws that drive out prostitution in the State. It will be an immediate act that the legislatures will look into so that perpetrators of the act are brought to book”.
He urges people to stick to cultures that can help people in Rumbek and South Sudan.
The speaker calls upon parents, community leaders and teachers to teach their children good cultures that portray’s good image of all South Sudanese.
But many residents who spoke to Hot in Juba are skeptical about the proposal because they believe, the best method of fighting prostitution is to start from the grass root levels of society so that the root causes, solutions and a rehabilitation method can be worked out for the victims.