Employment is rife in Kenya and many take jobs not as a vocation but as a means to an end. Many Kenyans have either been maimed or lost their lives in the line of duty. Here are some of the dangerous jobs in Kenya.
This is one of the riskiest vocations in Kenya. The boys in blue have to deal with gun totting criminals who are ready to shoot at any slight provocation. Proliferation of arms in the wrong hands from neighboring war-torn countries has further complicated the fight against crimes. Cattle rustlers are better armed than our security. A case in point is the Baragoi incident where 42 policemen were mowed down by well-equipped and trained cattle rustlers. Just recently we lost 22 police officers in Kapedo, Turkana County who were shot dead by Turkana raiders. Terrorists groups have made Kenya a playing field with brazen attacks in police stations and well protected facilities like Westgate mall attack. The Kenyan military is in Somali with sole mission of routing the suicidal Al-shabaab elements. Another endangered species in this category are guards commonly referred to as watchmen. Watchmen are ill-equipped to deal with armed robberies and many have lost their in the line of duty.
Kenyan roads are infamous for the high number road accidents and highway robberies that have left many Kenyans dead or permanently maimed. Drivers have to navigate through pot holed roads that lack basic road signs. Greedy bus operators force their drivers to make numerous trips resulting into fatigue that can turn fatal. Highway robberies also put the lives of the drivers at risk especially when they appear non-cooperative. Taxi Drivers on the other hand have to contend with criminals who pretend to be passengers. Many cases have been reported of taxi drivers killed in the line of duty and their vehicles stolen from the criminals who disguise themselves as passengers.
Boda Boda riders are a danger unto themselves and the passengers they ferry. Hospitals have set aside specials wards for victims of boda boda accidents that have become a phenomenon. Boda Boda riders break traffic rules with impunity and don’t wear protective gear to protect themselves from the elements of weather. Many of the boda boda operators end up with respiratory diseases.
Farm Workers, especially those who work in flower farms are exposed to hazardous pesticides that often times turn fatal. Lack of protective wear, medical cover, illiteracy and proper guidelines on the rights of workers have led the farm owners ride roughshod on the poorly paid agricultural workers. Farm workers who work with heavy machinery and animals are at risk of being injured. According to official reports there are 22 deaths per 100,000 workers in the Agricultural sector.
Factories have a poor track record creating conducive working environment for their employees. The workers are subjected to poisonous gases that often times leads to death. Cases have been reported of employees trapped in a building engulfed in fire because of lack of emergency doors and safety gears. Exposure to poisonous fumes emitted from the factories have led to premature death of the workers.
This sector is largely unregulated and the consequences have been dire. Cases of buildings collapsing and trapping the workers inside is so common that it goes unreported because of the frequency. Protective wear is also amiss as the workers lack basic items like helmets.
With undependable meteorological department fishermen have to rely on their own devices when venturing in the high seas. Fishermen who are caught in a storm in the high seas in their flimsy dhows either end up dead or badly injured. Water hyacinth in our Kenyans lakes has also proved to be deadly. A research conducted by Kenyatta University titled Causes of mortality among the fishermen in lake Victoria, Kenya list HIV-related infections as the number one killer at 33.8 % followed by drowning (14.3%), pulmonary tuberculosis (12.4%), and malaria (10.4%). In lake Turkana Merille Militia from neighboring Ethopia have a tendency of abducting and killing fishermen for ritualistic purposes especially in the month of August.
Being a journalist anywhere in the world is a risky and it’s not any different in Kenya. Field journalists have to be where the action is and many cases of injuries during street protests-which are a common affair in Kenya. Investigative journalist have to go into hiding once they unearth a scandal and their lives are threatened. John Allan Namu and Mohammed Ali are Kenyan best known investigative journalists who have infiltrated terrorists groups at the cost of their lives.