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VAS

19 street children taken back to their homes

RIFT VALLEY
By By TITUS TOO | May 25th 2013

By TITUS TOO

Eldoret, Kenya: Government of Uasin Gishu County has embarked on repatriation of street children whose parents have been identified and traced to neighbouring Counties.

Governor Jackson Mandago flagged off the first group of 19 children who have been screened for the last three weeks and found to have parents.

The former street children aged between six and 16 were ferried in a Children’s department van and escorted by government officials and security officers.

They included 16 children destined to Kitale in Trans Nzoia, two each to Bungoma and Nandi and one to Elgeiyo/Marakwet counties.

“We want a lasting solution in our clearing streets. They are future leaders and must be taken back to their parents and enrolled in school,” said Mandago.

Speaking before flagging off the children outside his office in Eldoret, the governor said his government will link with relevant departments in respective counties to ensure they are back to school.

“We will make follow ups so that these children fully re-unite with their parents and be in class,” he said. 

Peer pressure, lack of food in some homes and the society’s culture of giving hand-outs were also identified as leading factors contributing to the upsurge of street children.

About two months ago, several children who were roaming the streets of Eldoret were rounded up in a swoop in the town.

Mandago said his government is partnering with children’s homes in the area so that they can admit the orphaned children.

He also exonerated street children from umbrella blame that they are criminals saying some suspects terrorising residents are convicts serving community service order and suspects out on bond.

“Some of the street children have assisted security agencies by providing information on criminal activities. We also urge the public to volunteer any information to curb crime,” he said.

Noel Ongalo, in charge of Uasin Gishu children’s department said for the last two months, the children have been undergoing screening and counseling at the children’s remand.

“The 19 children are part of the children who have been screened and counseled. There are still 98 others in the children’s remand,” said Ongalo.

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