The Transit Passenger

Just picture a Tanzanian woman who has travelled from the most remote village of her country close to Lake Victoria who after four long days and nights of transport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, finds herself within the long, endless, ‘dizzying’ corridors of JKIA.  She has not tasted a bite of food since she said ‘Kwaheri’ (goodbye) to her loving family.  ‘Amina’ simply goes berserk and starts running around in circles as if in a delirious trance and nobody can pacify her.  By a stroke of luck, a Sr ‘Breda’ who is very familiar with Human Trafficking (HT) observes all that is going on.  She goes to ‘Amina’ and speaks very calmly to her in Kiswahili.  ‘B’ also consults with a police lady on duty at the airport who confirms that ‘Yes, this woman is indeed a trafficked person’ Not only that but her transport has taken the passengers through a ‘Panya’ route, it literally means the place where the rats run (unapproved route).   So, she is also illegally in Kenya.

‘Amina’ is a 25 year old woman highly traumatised and severely dehydrated.  She has left her 4 and 2 year old children with her mother and they wait patiently for the millions of Tanzanian shillings (currency) she will carry home. Sr Brenda and Sr. Mary, MMM/CHTEA, devoted the rest of that day to her welfare – it took the form of debriefing, copious fluids and tasty refreshments, her travel and family and what her next plans might be?  She was absolutely adamant that she would travel home immediately.  She was given the equivalent of £Stg 40.00 and a personal phone (minus sim card) then she was sent way in a luxury coach to Dar es Salaam.  Fortunately, she had a safe journey and called back as she was about to board a bus to her home close to the Ugandan border.

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