Jinja urges govt over street children

Jinja urges govt over street children
Sunday, 17th June, 2007
Street children stand at the entrance of a Mosque on Lubas Road in Jinja

Street children stand at the entrance of a Mosque on Lubas Road in Jinja

By Charles Kakamwa

LOCAL leaders in Jinja have asked the Government to set up a regional rehabilitation centre for children.

The Jinja community development officer, Geoffrey Muzusa, told The New Vision last week that the transit centre built in Mpumudde cannot accommodate the overwhelming number of destitute children in the town.

“As a long-term strategy, we request the gender ministry to put aside some funds for construction of a bigger centre that could even serve as a regional rehabilitation centre.”

He explained that the transit centre can only accommodate 30 children yet the town has over 300 children.
He however added that 100 of these children have been successfully resettled.

Muzusa was responding to complaints raised by the business community about the street children.

“They consume alcoholic substances, move with sharp objects such as knives and threaten us but the Police and leaders in the town are doing nothing about this problem,” said Francis Katumba, the Napier Market traders’ chairperson.

Muzusa however blamed the business community saying some encourage children to remain on the streets by employing them.

“We started a programme to educate them but they prefer working in the markets. This is child labour, which is unlawful,” he warned.

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