Uganda: Oyam women stranded with babies fathered by Chinese

By Tobbias Jolly Owiny

(DAILY MONITOR-UGANDA) — Several women in Oyam District are struggling to raise children sired by Chinese nationals after the fathers abandoned them.

The Chinese nationals, who fathered the children, are employees of Sinohydro Construction Company that is constructing Karuma hydropower dam.

Work on the Shs2.2 billion hydropower plant started in 2013.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Ms Jacqueline Adero, 20, a resident of Arukolong, Zambia Parish, Kamdini Sub-county, Oyam District, is one of the women struggling to raise the children. Adero says a Chinese national identified only as Yahang, fathered her one-and-a half-year-old daughter.

She recounts that in 2015, she went to Karuma to look for a menial job but ended up in a relationship with Yahang who promised to marry her and take her to China.

Ms Adero’s hopes to marry Yahang soon faded when she realised that her boyfriend was returning to china without her. Five months pregnant and unable to work anymore, Ms Adero returned to her village in frustration.

“I couldn’t believe he was returning to China for good yet I carried his five-month pregnancy at the time and I just returned home in disappointment to manage my pregnancy, broke as I was,” she narrates.

Ms Sophia Kolo, Adero’s mother, says attempts to find out who was responsible for the pregnancy was futile until Adero delivered at Aber hospital a year ago.

“We asked about it in vain, not until the clan council sat her down, but she only said it was a fellow worker from Mukono. But we were shocked finally when she delivered a Chinese baby girl,” Ms Kolo says.

Adero’s mother adds that it is difficult to raise the mixed race child because of allergy to local foods.

“She only feeds on biscuits and soft drinks and when we serve her local dishes, he develops rashes all over her body,” Ms Kolo says.

Mr Alfred Kolo, Adero’s father, says Sinohydro Company should intervene and link them with their granddaughter’s father.

“I am just a peasant and unable to raise all that it takes to bring up this child. It is very expensive to treat her medically and feed her considering the diet she requires. This is why her real father has to come in and support,” he adds.

The chief of Mwa Otiratok clan in Kamdini Sub-county, Mr Patrick Okello, says they will file a formal complaint with Sinohydro management.

“We have a law in our culture which demands that you either marry that girl or compensate for damages and time lost because of the pregnancy and it is on this basis that we will demand the company to produce these workers who have abandoned our daughters with their children,” Mr Okello says.

However, Dr Richard Nam, the Lango Cultural foundation prime minister, says they are planning to negotiate with the management of Sinohydro Construction company on how the women can be supported.

“It is our culture that once you impregnate our daughter and decline to marry her, you pay compensation for damages and upkeep of your offspring. This is what we want to make clear to them when we engage them in negotiations,” Dr Nam says.

He adds: “They (Chinese) should help these poor girls to raise these children. We shall sit and negotiate with them, but when this fails, legal measures will be taken.”

When this newspaper contacted Synohydro, they referred us to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL).

Mr Simon Kasyate, the UEGCL corporate affairs manager, said petitioning Sino hydro Power Company over the fate of fatherless children may not yield fruits. “Sex at Karuma is being traded on the basis of willing buyer and willing seller. These girls knew that these Chinese nationals have a lot of money that they would milk,” he says.

The Kamdini Sub-county LC3 chairperson, Mr Sam Ogwang Alunyu, says on several occasions, they have written to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to intervene but they have received no response.

He says they have documented a total of 20 children in the sub-county that were fathered by Chinese employees at Karuma hydro power project.

Mr Alunyu says cases of prostitution and defilement has increase.

“The level of sexually transmitted infections has increased because young girls and married women are trading sex and this has resulted into divorce, domestic violence, and many other crimes,” he says.

Plans. Dr Richard Nam, the Lango Cultural foundation premier, says they are planning to negotiate with the management of Sinohydro Construction Company on how the women can be supported.

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7 comments

  1. One thing about black people they will defend every race but theirs. The Chinese will choose their own over you anyday. Your perception of someone is how you see yourself. What you are reading are the words of someone else perception and you are already judging putting yourself in a karma that is not even yours. A child carries both parents legacy from generation to generation. It's a seed that has bore, both parents have a responsibility. Stop judging the parents it's about the children involved and please stop advocating for children to be abandoned because you are in your feelings.

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  3. She gave up the poonani.

    He accepted.

    Nothin wrong wid dat

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  5. Truth be told folks, you cant really blame the Chinese guy totally. These women are in it for the money. So they knew what they were doing. And child staying is just part of the transaction. As for bringing them to China, no Chiney man will likely bring a black woman to China, this society is racist to the core. So even if the man perhaps wanted to stay with the woman, he could not do that in China, the racism is huge there. So any Chiney man promising to bring an African home is very likely a lie. But maybe the women ignorant, so poor jab the woman, she just hear "ah foreign" and believe she would have better days. But how they not doing that on projects down here? Maybe because its easier for the man to just stay on rather than going back home which he would prefer anyways.

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  7. I'm disappointed in these Chinese men. They know that reckless sexual behaviour is not tolerated in China and they don't practise it there so why would they do it abroad? Are they rebelling from the one child policy in China?

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