Despite several interventions being put in place in Kenya by state and non-state actors to reduce the number of street families, their numbers have continued to increase overtime.
Existing interventions to rehabilitate street families have largely remained inadequate due to poorly designed interventions, lack of understanding of the rehabilitation process, lack of institutionalized system to assess and classify street families, poor coordination between the service providers and lack of clear national policy and legislation to deal with street families.
In this regard, a national policy on rehabilitation of street families has been developed to address these concerns. The policy has been developed under the stewardship of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund Board of Trustees (SFRTF).
The role of SFRTF, is to coordinate and develop capacity, mobilize resources, facilitate and monitor the rescue, rehabilitative, re-integrative and preventive programmes for street families.
According to a Board of Trustee member, Alex Masibo, the process entailed a deliberative stakeholders’ engagement and consultations to inform the policy design. For effective implementation of this policy interagency approach will be employed bringing together state and nonstate actors.
He said the purpose of the policy is to provide a coherent and sustainable framework for the rehabilitation of street families in Kenya. It will also provide a coordinated framework to support and empower vulnerable families to resilient livelihoods thus curtailing more persons from resorting to the streets.
Those already in the streets will be rescued and put into rehabilitation programmes designed to make them self-reliant after reintegrating them into the community.
He said the policy advocates for proper coordination of programmes that will catalyze the realization of a country free of street families in line with the country’s long-term development blueprint – Kenya Vision 2030.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, State Department for Social Protection shall oversee the overall coordination and implementation of this policy through SFRTF, while the county government will domesticate the policy, provide technical support and build capacity of county staff.
The National Census of Street Families conducted in 2018 revealed that the number of people living on and connected to the streets in Kenya was 46,639 with Nairobi reporting the highest concentrations of street persons with 15,337, Mombasa 7,529 and Kisumu 2,746.
by Roseland Lumwamu