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Stakeholders raise concern over increase in the number of street children in Kitale

The swelling numbers of street children in Kitale Town has raised concern among stakeholders.

Speaking at Kitale Museum, Kwanza Sub County Deputy Children Officer Wilfred Hazegere urged the Trans Nzoia County Government to help build a children rescue center in the region.

He said this would address the issue of the increasing number of street children in the town.

“As we speak, there’s no government structure or institution built to accommodate street children in this region. I urge Governor George Natembeya to go through the drafted Child Protection Policy document which we believe will help unlock solutions to problems of street children in Trans Nzoia County,” he said.

Revealing that the government has put in place strategies to ensure street children got a chance to access education, Hazegere said that no street child should fail to go to school because of lack of fees.

“Education is an equalization factor.  It is for this reason that we have put in place bursaries for street children to help them access education which is a basic right,” he explained as he urged street children who dropped out of school because of fees to approach the Children’s office for help.

Trans Nzoia Street Children Rehabilitation Consortium Chairperson Joseph Okumu revealed that plans were in place to ensure that most if not all street children whose homes could be identified are reunited with their families.

However, he voiced the challenge staring at them saying that most of the street children when returned to their homes would always find a way back to the streets.

He warned those who used street children as a source of cheap labour saying that it was in contravention of children rights.

“There are some individuals using these street children to traffic drugs and some use them as a cheap source of labour. I want to warn them that it is unconstitutional and soon the law will catch up with them,” he said.

John Simasi, a one-time street child, urged street children to stop drug and substance abuse and challenged those who have a chance to go back to their homes to do so and focus on education.

By Isaiah Nayika and Angela Musonye 

 

 

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