The government is set to establish a national policy aimed at providing a systematic and sustainable framework for rehabilitation of the street families in Kenya.
The sole purpose of the policy will be to provide guidelines to guide and coordinate rescue, reintegration and re-socialization of the street families.
While addressing the media during a public participation forum for the new policy on rehabilitation of street families, the chairperson of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund, Lina Jebii Kilimo, said the policy was informed by census of 2018 which indicated there were about 46, 639 street families countrywide.
Kilimo observed that the existing interventions to rehabilitate street families have largely remained inadequate due to various reasons including poorly designed involvements, uncoordinated and ineffective programmes among other reasons.
The chairperson said although there are other safety nets provided by the government on the vulnerable groups in the society, including bursaries, orphans and vulnerable children funds, the policy will go further in addressing the root cause of the street families and how to prevent more children from going to the streets.
According to the former cabinet minister, the policy aims at establishing family oriented programmes in all the 47 counties, which will be implemented by village elders and Nyumba Kumi Initiative.
She further revealed that the government is set to establish dropping centres across the country, which will be used as temporal rescue centres.
Kilimo said requisite assessment will be carried out at the centres to identify the reasons the street children are in the streets and then identify suitable rehabilitation centres, where there will be follow-up until they are reintegrated back into the society.
The county executive for gender, Grace Muriithi said Embu is working closely with the national government to ensure street children and families are eradicated from the streets.
Muriithi further revealed that governor Martin Wambora will soon commission the Embu dropping centre which will take care of the street families and victims of gender based violence.
However, she lamented how some unscrupulous individuals are using the very vulnerable by ferrying them to the streets and later collecting them, together with the money they have collected, where the victims are paid very little from the illegal con game.
By Kimani Tirus