Parents in Busia County have been urged to be vigilant and always keep track of the whereabouts of their children during this school holiday.
Speaking during the Area Advisory Committee meeting at the County Commissioner’s Boardroom on Tuesday, the Busia Sub County Children’s Officer, Luke Papa said that strangers can take advantage of unsuspecting parents by abducting their children.
“Such strangers can lure children using goodies before trafficking them,” he said, adding that traffickers have become trickier with time.
Papa further noted that most parents do not take their roles seriously, leading to vices such as teenage pregnancy.
“Even though teenage pregnancy is a matter of national concern, we are collaborating with schools and organizing chiefs’ barazas to sensitize the local residents on how to tame the vice,” he said.
On his part, the Busia Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Joseph Onyango noted with concern that most parents no longer take care of their children but have instead left this noble responsibility to the government.
“Most children are growing up by chance instead of being brought up by parents,” he stated, lamenting that parental roles have also been delegated to teachers.
Onyango also appealed to religious leaders not to keep children and youth till very late into the night for their spiritual functions.
“If you check keenly, night crusades and disco matanga have no big difference as children end up being misused during both occasions.
At the same time, he urged the county government to look at the ethical side of revenue collection by ensuring that all licensed traders and facilities do not misuse children by practicing child labour.
During the meeting, members of the committee expressed concern that disco matanga and noise pollution were still a major challenge, despite the County Assembly having passed a bill to address the menace last year.
The Busia Sub County Administrator, Daniel Okana promised to take up the matter and update the members on the status of the bill as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, members agreed that there was need for joint operation between Kenya and Uganda with a view to mopping up street children within the border County.
By Salome Alwanda