Laikipia County’s poor planning of Nyahururu town and other urban centres has been criticized for overlooking the need to provide open spaces for children to play.
A report on Children’s Rights Situation in Nyahururu and its environs released by the area St. Martins Apostolate, noted with concerns the congestion and lack of playgrounds in estates in the town.
“There is low appreciation of leisure and recreation activities for children because they lack spaces in our congested estates occasioned by poor planning.”
“This has forced many to play on the roads which is detrimental to their safety,” lamented Simon Maina, a Children Officer with the Nyahururu based NGO.
Inadequate management of Early Childhood Development Centres by the county too, was cited as an impediment to access to education by young children.
The report also noted that the county had few special schools with only a handful offering the integrated module for those living with disability to coexist with other learners.
“The primary responsibility of taking care of the children lies with the government through the Department of Children Services; development partners only come in to supplement for the good of the children.
“Unfortunately, Children in Charitable Institutions has never been a solution and there is need for these homes to encourage communities to bring up children in the family set up,” noted Maina while presenting the report findings to the area Court User’s Committee.
“Sexual violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriages were also cited as rampant with parts of Rumuruti division topping the list for child labour,” regretted the Conflict Resolution Officer, Dennis Wanjala, noting that the area lacked a labour officer.
The Nyahururu High Court Judge, Lady Justice Roselyne Wendoh noted that the committee was committed to do sensitization of the communities on human rights to back up trainings for Chiefs that were recently conducted to enlighten them on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
By Anne Sabuni