Effects of Child Participation in Livelihood Activities on Children’s Welfare among Fishing Communities in Lake Victoria, Kenya
The Lake Victoria Partner States (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) implement various legislations as a foundation for improved child welfare. These legislations emphasize on the need to protect children’s right. However, despite the implementation, children still face many challenges as a result of participating in the activities prohibited by the legislations. Therefore, this study examined welfare challenges of children participating in these activities and in particular fisheries. The study employed Key Informant Interview, observation and survey questionnaire to collect information from respondents in three fishing communities along Lake Victoria, Kenya. The findings indicate that children participation in livelihood activities pose challenges and affect welfare of children. The study identified competition for scarce resources, handling stressful activities and exposure to hazardous life activities among the key challenges which directly affect children welfare. Study findings further revealed that irregular school attendance, bad behavior resulting from influence, school dropout and exposure to abuse among others, presents explicit impacts on children’s welfare. Children from Lake Victoria beaches are thus exposed to livelihood participation activities that hinder them from realizing their full potential in life. Therefore, fishing communities around Lake Victoria need to be properly sensitized on better ways of promoting child welfare.
Keywords: Children participation, Children’s welfare, Livelihood activities, Fishing communities and Lake Victoria.