The high number of youths from Bududa district crossing into Kenya each day for casual labour has triggered concern among residents. At least 40 youths cross to Kenya daily according to local leaders owing to the rampant unemployment in the district.
The local leaders say Kenyan buses pitch camp in the district daily to ferry young people from the district to Kenya through the “Bamasaba Community Travel association” which deals in labour export to Kenya.
According to the local authorities, agents traverse different parts of the district looking for those willing to travel to Kenya for work. Each of the recruits pays between Shillings 60,000 and 100, 000 as transport to Kenya.
Information obtained from the booking offices of the Kenyan buses indicates that between 40 and 80 people majorly youths cross to Kenya daily. Stephen Kimasu, the LC I Vice Chairperson of Bududa township, says that most of the people leaving the country go to work as housemaids, shamba boys, shop attendants and herdsmen among others.
He said that the business of ferrying people from the district started 4 years ago and has now grown noting that the high value of the Kenyan currency compared to the Ugandan currency has greatly contributed to the migration. One Kenya Shillings is equivalent to 35 Uganda Shillings.
Karim Womuhola, a driver who moves to look for those willing to cross to Kenya for employment, says that when parents fail to pay school fees for their children, especially those who complete P.7 they force them to go to Kenya to work and become their sources of livelihood.
Wamuhola, who belongs to Bamasaba Community Travelers association, says that the high levels of unemployment and domestic violence in the district have also contributed greatly to the number of youths leaving for Kenya.
Timothy Weboya, a booking agent expressed concern that in the future Bududa district will not have human resources since many young people drop out of school to seek employment in the neighbouring country.
Rachel Nabulo, the Bududa District Vice Chairperson acknowledges the surge in the number of young people leaving the district, saying that they cannot do much because there are no jobs.
She said this has made many women abandon their homes and cross to Kenya, which has increased the number of child-headed families.
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