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Sex workers turn cargo trucks into lodges in Elegu

Sex workers. File Photo

Elegu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The cargo trucks that have formed lengthy queues in Elegu town council, Amuru district are facilitating illicit commercial sex trade in the area.

As a safeguard to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, all lodges in Elegu town were closed in March. But Kassim Akule, the LCI chairperson of Lorikwor West village in Elegu explains that now, the illicit business is being transacted in trucks as hundreds of cargo drivers spend between two to four days seeking clearance.

One commercial sex worker told URN that some of the truck drivers have families in Elegu and because of the restriction imposed on them, they are only able to meet their sexual partners in trucks at night.

Amuru district chairperson Michael Lakony says that some of the truck drivers meet with the sex workers in rented grass thatched huts while others prefer to use their trucks as lodges making it hard to enforce presidential directives.

The District Woman MP Lucy Akello, asserts that district leaders backed by security are finding it extremely difficult to regulate the illicit trade but said the authorities are liaising with relevant development partners to conduct intensive counseling among the sex workers.

Last week, the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng rallied Amuru leaders to conduct comprehensive risk communication and community engagement to help mitigate possible spread of the contagion.

Over 1,000 trucks carrying goods are cleared every day in Elegu, at the Uganda – South Sudan One Stop border post.  But with truck drivers being identified as high-risk individuals, the area leaders are concerned that failure to control their contact with community members will increase cases of community infections of COVID-19.



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