Solar Lights Help Kenyan Women Escape Sex-for-Fish Trap

Sex-for-fish deals are common in Lake Victoria’s fishing industry, which is controlled by men who can afford the tools needed to catch fish, including the lights used to attract the cyprinid, say local women’s rights advocates. But a renewable energy project launched under Africa for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative is helping women in the area feed their families and stay safe from abuse by arming them with solar-powered lamps that allow them to do their own fishing.

Since it started in 2018, the project has given free solar lights to more than 400 women in western Kenya who were previously involved in the sex-for-fish trade, said Joe Bonga, chief executive officer of the Nairobi-based Africa for SDGs. Along with the economic boost, the use of solar lights is bringing health benefits to communities around Lake Victoria, according to locals and health experts.