Wednesday, 28 September 2016 14:10

UGANDA: Karimojong Children Now On Nairobi Streets - Official

MOROTO, 28 September 2016 — From dominating Kampala City streets, Karimojong children have relocated to neighbouring Nairobi, Kenya, a local government official from Moroto District, has revealed.

Ms Christine Akot, the Moroto District vice chairperson, made the revelation at Moroto Chief Magistrate's Court during a justice stakeholders' meeting yesterday.

According to Ms Akot, who described the developing situation of their children crossing boarders as a worrying trend, said most of the children come from Napak District.

The revelation was prompted by the Registrar in-charge of Magistrates Affairs in the Judiciary, Mr Festo Nsenga, who is part of the Judiciary inspection team headed by Supreme Court judge Augustine Nshimye, shortly after he asked the Moroto authorities why they cannot prevail over their children who have always ended up on the streets.

"These children have now reached Nairobi streets; it's not only in Kampala. However, as local government, we have always had this matter for consideration on our agenda," Ms Akot said. She added: "There is an NGO that brings them back to Karamoja but they just dump them here without any resettlement packages and in a short while, they find their way back to Kampala streets."

Commenting on the plight of the Karimajong street children, Ms Irene Oluka, the child and protection officer at United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), explained how her agency had earlier embarked on the resettlement programme of the street children but later pulled out.

"Going to Kampala and returning became a recycling process and when other children saw their colleagues being returned and given a resettlement package, they also stormed Kampala streets and the programme lost meaning and we pulled out," Ms Oluka said.

Efforts to reach the Youth and Children Affairs minister for a comment were futile by press time.

The deputy executive director Uganda Media Centre, Col Shaban Bantariza, said in a telephone interview yesterday, that government was not aware of Karimojong children on the streets of Nairobi.

The case

Home. For so many years, Karimajong children have been seen on various Kampala streets and other municipalities, begging for food and other handouts.

Adults. Some are accompanied by adults who stand some distance from them but collect the money from the children once good Samaritans give them.

Reasons. According to a 2015 report by ANPPACAN [African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect], most of the children resort to street life because of factors such as poverty at home, child abuse, family break down and insecurity.

By Anthony Wesaka
Source: The Monitor (AllAfrica.com)

 

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