Kisumu grapples with cases of missing children

At least 82 children were reported missing in Kisumu county between July 2019 and early this month, police say.

According to police reports seen by The Standard, out of the 82 children, 21 are yet to be found.

Kisumu Central Sub-county is leading with 58 cases of missing children reported in the period under review.

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Kisumu County Police Commander Random Lolmodom said his office was surprised by the high number of missing children.

He attributed this to child trafficking.

He also claimed most children run away from home due to abuse and poverty.

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“Most children disappear from home after being abducted and trafficked,” said Mr Lolmodon in an interview.

“Others run from home after being subjected to child labour and sexual exploitation.”

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He noted that police are investigating individuals suspected to be responsible for the missing children.

The 21 children who are still missing were aged between 5 and 10 years when they disappeared from their homes in five sub-counties - Nyando, Kisumu West, Nyakach and Muhoroni.

Police reports also indicate  that Nyakach Sub-county has eight children whose whereabouts are unknown.

In Manyatta slums, a couple is in agony after their five-year-old daughter disappeared a month ago.

Moses Ojango and wife Belize Awuor, said their daughter, Briana Atieno, a pupil at Atlantic Junior School in Manyatta, disappeared on January 26 at about 4pm.

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 “We have looked for her everywhere, but in vain,” said Mr Ojango.

“We have been praying to find her. We have fallen victim to con-men claiming to have seen her.”

According to neighbours, Briana was playing with other children at the estate when she disappeared.

Ojango said he and his wife have visited more than five police stations and have gone to several churches, schools and children homes but they have not traced Brianna.

He explained that the morning after his daughter went missing, he recorded a statement at Kondele Police Station under OB number 27/19/01/2020.

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Another family in Chiga, Kisumu County, also said its teenage daughter disappeared on her way to school.

Visited aunt

The Form Two student at AIC Kipkeikei Secondary School in Trans Nzoia left home on January 5.

She had planned to visit her aunt’s home in Kitale before heading to school.

“She left home at around mid-day. We expected her to go to her aunt’s home in Kitale before she reported to school,” the father said.

 The girl was later rescued at a house in Arina Estate. Four suspects, all students at a local college, were arrested after it emerged that they had detained her in their house.

They were later released due to lack of evidence.

December recorded the highest number of missing children reported. A total of 32 cases were reported, followed by July which had 18 cases reported.

According to police, 44 of the missing children are boys while 38 are girls.

In October last year, a seven year old boy was kidnapped from Kenya- Re estate and driven to Suba, where he was rescued by police after five days in captivity.

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