Children still on Kampala streets

Children still on Kampala streets
A street kid carries a baby as they stand along a street in Kampala.

Kampala streets are still teaming with children, despite recent efforts by the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry to evict them.

Small groups of children still brave the cold and drizzle to beg on the streets of Kampala. Children of all ages can be seen begging money from motorists and pedestrians along Jinja Road, Lumum Street and Wandegeya.

Peter Kaujju, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) spokesperson says plans are under way to evict the street children this week.

Once the children are evicted from the streets, they will be sent to Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Center for screening. They will also undergo medical tests and determine their age for placement in private homes.

Damon Kawamara, the Country Director of Dwelling Places, says that preparations are still ongoing to remove the children. “Meetings are still ongoing to rescue the children. This campaign is going to big since many organisations are concerned and proper planning is needed to make it a success,” he said.

According to Kawamara, the rescue is going to target children of all ages living and working on the streets of Kampala and other towns like Mbale, Jinja and Soroti.

The campaign that was launched last week aims at removing more than five thousand children off the streets of major towns in the country.

A study carried out by Retrak and Dwelling Places in 2017 showed that over 18000 children live and work on the streets of Uganda.

According to the Gender Ministry, the campaign this time round is aimed at convincing the children to leave the streets rather than force them off as has been in previous campaigns.

While addressing the media last week, the minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Florence Nakiwala, said that they have talked to these children and now know what they want.

This time round the ministry has got support from bodies like the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) that will train the children.

The sports body is going to provide coaches to train children. Those with potential will be attached to soccer academies with the help of FUFA.