28 December 2017

Kenya: Nairobi County Sets Aside Sh1.5 Billion to Get Rid of Street Families

Photo: Nairobi News
A street family on Kenyatta Avenue.

Nairobi County has set aside Sh1.5 billion to end the menace of street families in the city.

The County Annual Development Plan (CADP) 2018/2019 tabled at the Nairobi County Assembly comes at a time when there is an upsurge of street families.

Many of these families are synonymous with theft. Glue sniffing boys have been joined by children hawking sweets, while others are accompanied by their parents.

There is also a cleaner generation of street families, especially in the central business district (CBD).

When the children are not hawking peanuts or chewing gum, they are usually being admonished by their mothers for not making enough sales.

SECURITY THREAT

Many of these have somewhere to sleep and are not seen in town at night. Their number has increased during the school holidays.

"Inadequate security services within rehabilitation centres are making rescued children return to the streets, posing security threats," the report reads.

The Consortium of Street Children estimated in 2016 that there were over 60,000 street children in Nairobi.

The biggest chunk of Sh100 million will be used to develop Ruai Street Children Rehabilitation Centre whose construction stopped after former governor Evans Kidero lost his seat.

The centre is on a 40-acre piece of land in Ruai and can hold 3,000 children. The construction was projected to be completed by June this year, at a cost of Sh200 million. But acting county secretary Simon Leboo said the project had halted.

BASIC NEEDS

The centre will house a school and a vocational centre. It will have a team of medical and social workers, as well as other experts to support the families and children.

The devolved unit is also expected to spend Sh12 million on social mapping, removal of street children from the CBD and its environs and transportation.

The report tabled by Deputy Speaker and Ruai MCA John Kamangu will see Sh24.8 million go towards provision of basic needs, services, guidance, cancelling and detoxification.

Until July 2018, rescued children will be placed in existing homes, both private and public, at a cost of Sh3.6 million -- transport, home care and other needs.

Re-integration of children will cost Sh6 million. The county government currently runs four children homes that have been allocated Sh2 million in 2018/19.

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