‘RELUCTANT’ sex workers
The darkness of an inscrutable continent...the darkness of ignorance…the darkness of death. These are the adversaries of a brave and stalwart group of women affected by poverty and AIDS in Africa. It is a story of widowed women who out of their quest for survival reluctantly become ‘sex workers’. These women aren’t hardened professionals soliciting business; they are desperate women who have no means to support their family since their financial platform was dismantled after their husbands died. It is to them that the burden falls to raise families, in a culture in which women have no clout, no means to alter their inexorable destinies. Their only choice is to sell their bodies, mostly for a meagre sum to alleviate the pain of hunger, a daily hammering challenge. Sex for survival.
Home to these women is Hamukungu, an equatorial fishing village along the shore of Lake George, on the West coast of Uganda. The lake has been horrifically polluted by the local copper mine and cement factories. The protection of the environment is not a priority policed or investigated by governmental agencies in this remote region of the country. The water is host to a plethora of unavoidable disease from chronic diarrhoea to cholera. More than half of the population is HIV positive. The access to health care is scarce. The toll of deaths from the AIDS pandemic continues as poverty and ignorance lubricate its growth.
Hardship is obligatory in the region, but in spite of the overwhelming visible horror of their existence, each day the women place one foot behind the other as they progress survival in their hostile landscape. The profanity of poverty continues unabated, a tragedy for all these heroic women imprisoned by their catastrophic set of unwarranted circumstances.