The government will use the findings of a recently conducted census on street families in major towns and urban centers to plan for their rehabilitation, in a move aimed at eradicating the menace by 2022.
The findings of the census done late last year will be made public soon, even as it emerged that there was no clear policy and legal frameworks guiding the process of rehabilitating the street families whose number is increasing by the day.
Labour CS Ukur Yattani explained that the census will help plan on the modalities of relocating and rehabilitating street families ahead of the expected deadline.
Yattani further said provisional reports indicated that Kenya has over 42,000 street families and stressed the need to help them lead a decent life through rehabilitation.
He explained that the government will be reviving the recruitment of street urchins into the National Youth Service, ten years after the process was stopped, as one way of rehabilitating the families.
The CS however regretted that most of those living in the streets faced neglect and discrimination, adding that majority may have abused drugs owing to depression and other life challenges.
Yattani made the remarks when he officially opened an induction workshop for the newly appointed Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund Board of Trustees at Lake Naivasha Resort.
He called on the new board to move with speed and draft policies that will guide implementation of the rehabilitation agenda for street families to ensure effective work.
Yattani said the board will be mandated to develop a National Street Families Bill which will eventually be enacted into law and develop a Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund Strategic Plan.
“The Plan should be aligned to Medium Term Plan III (2018-2022), the government’s Big Four Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he stated.
The Fund’s board chair Linah Jebii Kilimo said they were committed to ensuring the issue of street families was dealt with once and for all and that the team was ready to hit the ground running and begin to implement the board’s agenda, key among them being re-looking at the current laws on street families to ensure they conform to the constitution.
By Esther Mwangi and Hannah Wangui