In Summary
  • Lydia claims that they used to earn 800 shillings a day for her services, but with the challenging economic times, she now often goes home with as little as 200 shillings or sometimes with nothing at all.
  • Eastleigh residents are now turning to non-Kenyans, particularly Ugandans, for laundry services.

Mama Fua who are known to provide laundry services in Eastleigh say the high cost of living is denying them jobs.

According to them many employers (the Somalis) are now declining to seek their services due to the tough economic times.

Our Tribulations

“Saa zingine unapata Oria amekuita nguo ni nyingi, pesa kidogo anakulipa shilingi 200 unaenda nayo kwa nyumba…mimi ndio baba mimi ndio mama, mzee wangu hana kazi , niko na watoto saizi ni miezi kumi…nilipasuliwa last year na nimeanza kufanya kazi hata kidonda bado kupona,” Lydia a Mama Fua said.

Lydia Ampio a Mama Fua and mother of three reveals that she used to earn 800 shillings a day for her services but with the tough economic times she is now going home with as little as 200 shillings or sometimes nothing at all.

“Vile maisha imekuwa ngumu ndio imesababisha hakuna kazi mzuri, kila kitu iko juu..kazi yenyewe hakuna hata….kitambo nilikuwa napata shilingi 800 huko kwa Oria..sahii ata kurudi na hiyo 800 ni shida,”

“Sisi Oria akituita anatuambia mama utafanya kazi na bei ya chini ? sasa hawa waganda wameharibu soko sana..watoto wanataka pampers, wanataka ya uji ,,sasa nashangaa nitajipanga aje na hiyo 200,”

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Influx of Immigrants

Lydia’s situation is mirrored by many Mama Fuas who come from Mathare and Kiambiu slums and who are forced to go to Eastleigh in search of jobs.

Lydia’s husband who works in Eastleigh as a casual laborer is currently jobless after he broke his leg. She now forced to take care of his husband and three children among them twins.

Mercy Akinyi, another Mama Fua alleges that the situation has worsened as Eastleigh residents, typically Somalis, are now turning to non-Kenyans, particularly Ugandans, for laundry services, considering them more affordable.

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“Unataka ulipe nyumba alfu 3000, unataka ukule, watoto wako shuleni na kazi hakuna….tunaeza kuja huku tu kwa wiki mzima tunakaa tu bila kazi,” Mercy said.

BY JUDY KANAITHA

February 1, 2024

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