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HIV scourge spoiling Thika’s name

thikAThika town is known for three things; its an industrial town; the home of Kenya’s largest pineapple producer, Del Monte, and, increasingly, its high number of HIV and Aids cases. These days, prostitution is the order of the day here. Business increases at night as twilight girls report to ‘work.

You will find them standing by the walls of some buildings in the CBD, waiting for clients. Some are even courageous enough to call out from afar. Maybe that’s the reason why Thika comes at the top list of cities leading in HIV and Aids in the country.

Due to its high number of colleges and education institutions, many nightclubs host youngsters, attracting the entertainers among them to part time jobs. Some students are now strippers in some of the clubs, others are part-time prostitutes.

There is a club in every corner of this town and at every weekend, they are all filled to capacity. Older men take every opportunity to hang up with girls of same age as their daughters. As a result, the numbers of street children who nag anybody who comes on their way with ‘buy me food’ slogan, is increasing. Kiandutu slum has hundreds of such orphaned children.

And despite the fact that Thika is an industrial city, many of its occupants are jobless and live in pathetic conditions. Most of the residents live in the outskirts of the city, where accessing basic needs is a full time occupation.

Nevertheless, Thika is a growing tourism and entertainment city, home to the famous Chania Falls, Thika Falls and not far from Fourteen Falls on the Athi River. It is a nice place to go for weekends and holidays.

 -People daily

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