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MAKING NAIROBI SAFE

Crackdown on street children in CBD to continue, says City Hall

Report states that number of street children has dropped to below 40,000 since Sonko took office

In Summary

• At least 450 rescued street children have been enrolled in school; another 250 reunited with their families

• Rehabilitation centres are in Makadara, Joseph Kang'ethe, Shauri Moyo and Mji wa Huruma

Nairobi County headquarters at City Hall.
Nairobi County headquarters at City Hall.
Image: FILE

Some 450 street children have been enrolled in school after City Hall removed them from the Central Business District. 

Another 250 have been reunited with their families, according to a report of the Education, Social Services and Gender department. 

The report states that 1,043 street children have been rescued and rehabilitated in four street children rehabilitation centres in Nairobi since the crackdown started in January last year.

 

The centres are Makadara, Joseph Kang'ethe, Shauri Moyo and Mji wa Huruma.

Education executive Lucia Mulwa told the Star on Monday that the operation is ongoing and more children will be removed from the streets.

“Our long-term goal is to have all street children reunited with their families and also to build networks with other counties and agencies for ease of reintegration and family reunification of rescued children,” Mulwa said.

The report says the number of street families is under 40,000 compared to 60,000 when Governor Mike Sonko came to office in August 2017.

Some 500 operated within the CBD and the rest in satellite centres near the CBD and in residential estates, Mulwa said.

Between January 1 and October 2, last year, 457 children were removed from the city centre and taken them to the four rehabilitation centres.

 

Twenty-nine were taken to Kayole, 48 to Shauri Moyo, 28 to Joseph Kang'ethe and 352 to Makadara.

 

The children are counselled before they are sent to educational institutions.

At Joseph Kang'ethe, 78 have access to education, 43 at Shauri Moyo, 56 at Kayole and 129 at Makadara. 

Another rescue centre is due for completion in Ruai. “The Ruai Rehabilitation Centre will be the biggest in the county," Mulwa said.

Its existing facilities are being refurbished with additional beds and bedding, and the development of playgrounds. 

Muggers targeted

County head of security and compliance Tito Kilonzi said they are determined to clear the CBD of street families and restore order, especially in major bus termini.

Kilonzi warned young men and women posing as parking boys to steal from the public that their days are numbered.

"Beggars who are not disabled and pose a major security threat will also be arrested and prosecuted. Our target is to completely weed them out because of the increased complaints from traders and residents." 

Kilonzi said they were targeting the Globe Roundabout, Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya Street and areas around the Kenya Cinema where street families stay.

He said some of those posing as street children have families in the city.

"We have cases of women misusing children to beg and extort by pretending to be street families. Such characters must face the full wrath of the law," he said.

He said cases of mugging along most of the backstreet corridors downtown have been brought to the attention of inspectorate department, hence the crackdown that led to the arrest of those conducting such activities.

"This is purely meant to enforce security for those using public transport and near the bus termini," Kilonzi said. 

Edited by R.Wamochie