Safety for Kenyan fishermen in the Indian Ocean is not always guaranteed and cases of boats capsizing are but sadly too common.
In fact condoms go beyond just saving lives and actually protect and safeguards country’s whole economies and hard forth gains. Male condom use not only helps with family planning and the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but if enough provided to fulfill the unmet needs by 2030, millions of people will be saved from infections and early deaths.
A group of Kenyan fishermen, however, have found an ingenious way of using condoms to save their lives and not while under the covers of night or between bed sheets but rather in the open and public arears in the turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean.
“Our boats capsize most of the time and we lose our phones we have to be creative all the time due to our merge earnings,” Ali Kibwana Mwachela, a fisherman at the Kenyan coast told BBC Africa.
Safety for Kenyan fishermen in the Indian Ocean is not always guaranteed and cases of boats capsizing are but sadly too common, quickly alerting authorities and fellow fisherman’s of your precarious in time is a matter of life and death.
In August 2017, eleven people drowned when the boat they were travelling in capsized in turbulent Lamu waters in the Indian Ocean.
In July 2018, a boat carrying six fishermen capsized in the Indian Ocean as the fishermen returned from a fishing expedition killing four.
Jaffary Matano and Edwin Odhiambo were among the fishermen but managed to escaped death after they swam overnight for about ten hours to safety.
“Our boat capsized during the night, we were going back ashore at around 11:00pm we were six and our boat was hit by a strong wave my four colleagues lost their lives my colleague and I swam to safety but it was a miraculous escape because the waves were too strong,” said Mr Jaffary who has been a fisherman for 14 years now.
“The boat overturned and we started swimming towards the jetty but as we approached it another strong wave struck, scattering us in different directions,”
But armed with their condoms fisher men can now be able to call rescuers in times of danger.
“A condom also helps when your boat capsizes while you have your phone with you, you are able to use your phone to call for help and give your location,” says Ali.
“Rescuers will easily locate you and save you,”
Due to its waterproof nature, the fishermen unwraps a condom and then roll it over their phones packed with long lasting batter life and then they go into the turbulent ocean ready for another day at hiking out a living.
“First of all I remove the lubricants using my T-shirt then I put my phone inside the condom and tie it to make it waterproof,” Ali explains.
Ali adds that the condom is not only a life saver while in the deep seas but also quite useful as well in helping in coordinating and keeping in touch with their customers to alert them when they are near shores and hence can come and pick their fish stock.
“If you put your phone inside a condom you can call your customer and meet on time at the shore you are able to sell your fish without any hassle,”
However the new safety also comes with its fare of challenges and the Fishermen have to contend with awkward questions especially from their wives on why they are in possession of condoms sometimes unwrapped ones in their pockets.
“It is hard to explain to my family why I have condoms, sometimes you can forget the condom in your pocket and when you wife finds it you guys start quarrelling but I try to explain to them that condom is useful in my line of work, sometimes I even have to show her how I use it in the ocean so that she can believe me,” says Ali.
Well, that is sure one unique way of keeping dry while in the Ocean.