Government and NGO put in place measures to cater for street children in West Pokot

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo

The government is partnering with the World Vision organization and the police department to put in place measures to rescue, rehabilitate and integrate street children back into the society in major towns in the North Rift region.

There has been an increase in the number of street children in Kapenguria town because of the challenges witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic.   

West Pokot County Children’s Officer Phillip Wapopa said that they are profiling, surveying and assessing the plight of children living on the streets in the County to give them aid and get them out of the streets.

He pointed out that the influx of homeless street kids in Kapenguria town and other urban centres in West Pokot County is raising concern among charity organizations, education stakeholders and residents.

Wapopa noted that the government will identify some of the children that seem lost and neglected and they are doing awareness and sensitization to help them.

“We are collecting the data of street children and following them up in their homes to clarify on the information they give. Many have homes and they come from other Counties like Bungoma,Trans Nzoia, Turkana,” said Wapopa.

He said that they are planning to take the children to rescue centers for them to get education and take others back to their homes.

“We are starting the program next week. Those parents who will be found to have neglected the children will be taken to court. We want to make sure that children don’t go back to the streets,” he said.

Wapopa cited hunger, absence of parents, parents’ drunkenness, domestic violence meted on the kids as among the reasons that contribute to them running away from home.

World Vision Organization Children officer  Mercy Cheruto said that they have put in place measures to rehabilitate street urchins and integrating them back into the society.

“We did the first survey and we are now doing the second one. We want to put them in the social welfare list and integrate them to the community. We need to have a collective responsibility,” she said.

Police Representative Clara Ng’imor said that they have helped in collecting data and information. “Street children need help, love and they also need to be listened to,” she said.

“Street children need help ,love and need to  be listened to .They have a right to play,”she said.