Violence causes number of street children to rise

Violence causes number of street children to rise

Story by WANJIRU MACHARIA
Publication Date: 4/4/2008

The number of street children has doubled in three major towns in the Rift Valley due to the post-election violence.

Regional children’s officer Abdi Yusuf, Thursday said there were more beggars, street children and even idling adults in Trans Nzoia’s Kitale Town, Eldoret in Uasin Gishu District and Nakuru Town.

There are over 47,000 children living at internal refugee camps in the province.

Mr Yusuf said the district with the highest number of children forced from their homes is the larger Nakuru with 15,000, followed by Trans Nzoia with 13,000, while Uasin Gishu has 9,000.

However, the children’s cannot give the actual numbers of street children because some spend all their time in the streets while others go to the camps at night.

Mr Yusuf said some children who are not refugees are taking advantage of the situation to abscond school and beg in the streets.

Good care

The children’s officer said there were programmes in place to ensure that the children were withdrawn from the streets and put under good care.

He said the provincial administration with the help of the Kenya Red Cross Society, UNICEF, Save the Children UK and World Vision had initiated a programme to help the displaced children.

He said most of separated minors had been placed in children’s homes while others have been re-united with their families through the assistance of the Kenya Red Cross tracing department.

The official said child protection committees had been formed in Nakuru and Eldoret to cater for the welfare of the displaced children and protect their rights and similar committees would be put in place in other districts.

Mr Yusuf said there were allegations of child abuse at camps but was quick to add that there was not factual information to enable the department take legal action.

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