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Number of street families in Kisumu city soars

A huge number of adults sleep on the streets of Kisumu City, raising concerns over a surge in homelessness.

According to a street census conducted between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm on March 1, 2021 a total of 266 people were counted sleeping on the streets of Kisumu.

The census conducted by Kisumu Street Children Rehabilitation Consortium also revealed that 100 children slept on the streets even after the government rolled out plans to reintegrate them back into the community.

Even though the figure signifies a 16 per cent decrease in the total adult street population in the lakeside city over the last one year, the figure was still high.

Speaking on Wednesday during the Area Advisory Council (AAC) meeting for Kisumu East Sub-County, Lebaus Onyango, from Agape Children Ministry and a representative of the consortium said the number could be higher since the counting was affected by the 10:00am to 4:00 am curfew.

“Some of the children and adults were dispersed by teargas by police officers enforcing the curfew therefore we did not manage to get them at their respective bases,” he said.

The consortium, he said, has made an application to the County Covid-19 response committee to be allowed to conduct another census in April during the curfew hours to capture accurate numbers for street children and families in the city.

Stakeholders at the meeting expressed fears that the high adult street population posed a security problem for the children and city residents at large calling for concerted efforts to address the push and pull factors leading to the upsurge.

They called upon the consortium to develop a detailed questionnaire to be used for the count in order to establish the origin of the children and adults on the streets to aid in reintegrating them back to the community.

By Chris Mahandara

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