Growing army destitutes alarming, House told

Growing army destitutes alarming, House told
Dailynews Reporter
Daily News; Thursday,July 03, 2008 @00:02

Over half of the parents residing along Mahita Street in Morogoro Municipality engage their children in street begging to earn a living. The Deputy Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, Dr Lucy Nkya, revealed in the National Assembly yesterday that the facts were revealed in a survey conducted in the area recently.

"Some 60 per cent of the parents interviewed admitted that they send their children to streets to beg and bring back to them what they got," she said when answering Special Seats Legislator, Mrs Kidawa Hamid Saleh (CCM) who expressed concern over the practice.

Mrs Saleh said street begging was humiliating to children and called for stern measures against such parents. The deputy minister who attributed the problem to poverty said the government was working on the matter. Mrs Saleh had also wanted to know reasons that drove people into the streets and the rising number of the so-called street kids.

She said the government had no official statistics on the magnitude of the problem, although a number of studies that covered selected areas and for different purposes were conducted by various government institutions, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and religious institutions.

Dr Nkya said currently her ministry was negotiating with the International Consortium for Street Children of the UK through the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam to carry out a nation-wide study to establish the extent of the problem. "Findings of the studies will help the government develop a sustainable programme of solving the problem," she said.

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