NTSA launches campaign to curb sexual harassment in PSVs

NTSA and EQUALITY NOW members together with media personality Anita Nderu during the launch of campaign against sexual harassment in Nairobi. PHOTO: MICHAEL MBUGUA

Nairobi, KENYA: National Transport and Safety Authority NTSA together with Equality Now,(a woman’s rights organization), have launched a campaign to end sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in public transport vehicles.

The campaign will be achieved through the use of a mobile number or phone application that will allow women and girls send complains and reach for help should they be a victim or witness sexual harassment taking place.

In a press conference on Wednesday in Nairobi, Africa Office Director Equality Now, Faiza Mohamed pointed out that sexual and gender-based violence is a particularly disturbing phenomenon that exists in all regions of the world and Kenya is not an exception, as it has manifested itself mostly in private spaces by persons known to women and girls.

“In the recent past, however, there has been an outright escalation of this threat in the public spaces specifically in public service vehicle.” She said.

In this regards, they want more awareness raised on the illegality of such acts as well as the severe repercussions available in law taken against the offenders.

“We would like women and girls across Kenya to be aware they have the support of the relevant institutions including NTSA that will give them the courage to speak up against perpetrators who are now shamelessly operating in these vehicles.” She said.

The director added that their long-term goal would be to establish a gender desk that people can call to access specialist support provided by staff trained to deal with SGBV issues.

She added that Kenya does not have a dedicated Database for dealing with instances of SGBV on public transport and this means victims are not getting the assistance they require instantly.

Anita Nderu, a Tv and Radio presenter during the launch, she was once a victim of being harassed in a Matatu while commuting home, as she still remembers vividly how the man who was sitting next to her intentionally sexually harassed her by touching her inappropriately, without fear of being arrested or action taken against him.

She said that she is happy now that the initiative by the Equality Now and NTSA will expose such kind of people within no time as the campaign kick-start.

The campaign termed as ‘Nganya Safe’ will require passengers to call 0709932000 which will be glued in all PSV vehicles in cases of harassment or they can download phone application of NTSA APP and report road incidents instantly.