Kenya: MCAs Call for Plan to Control Burgeoning Street Families

1 October 2020

Nairobi MCAs have raised the alarm at the rise in the number of street families and parking boys in downtown Nairobi.

The ward reps are now calling on the county government and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to control the menace.

Terming it a growing concern, Nairobi Central MCA Daniel Ngengi said the parking boys and street families have now turned into a criminal syndicate operating with impunity vandalising vehicles and causing mayhem.

"Nairobi CBD has become quite a hazardous place for people coming for their businesses, to eateries and other places," said Mr Ngengi.

"Some of these street families arrive in town as early as 9am and leave at 5pm. This means they have their homes but are only out to create disturbance," he said.

The influx of street families has been blamed on some foreigners who use them to beg for money.

Vandalism

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

The ward representative said some of the parking boys have taken to extorting motorists and vandalising vehicles in parking spaces.

"In many parking spaces, if you don't part with Sh100, you will find your car vandalised. It is high time we restored sanity in the CBD," he said.

Consequently, the county legislators have called on the assembly's Transport Committee to put to task City Hall and NMS on measures the two offices have in place to manage the increasing numbers of street families within the city center.

They also want the committee to inquire and report on the status of a rehabilitation centre for street families in Ruai.

Rehabilitation

Last year, the MCAs called on the county executive to develop a comprehensive policy with programmes aimed at rehabilitation of street children and families, pointing out that the problem of street children and families had turned into a social nightmare.

Past efforts by the county government to rehabilitate street families have been unsuccessful as they often escape from such centres and return to the streets.

City Hall had appealed to the county assembly to come up with a law allowing for detention of foreigners abetting the practice, given that even after being arrested, arraigned and charged in court, the perpetrators are usually set free for lack of a law and facilities to allow for their detention.

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