The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has relocated 166 kids who were begging on the streets of the city.
The Koblin Youth Rehabilitation and Skilling Center, in the Napak District, is where all the saved children were brought, according to Mr. John Bosco Bashinyorwa, director of gender and community engagement for the KCCA.
‘’We rescued 166 children. Majority of them are really young,” he said, adding, “Koblin is a skilling centre but they are usually taken there because we do not have any other space where we can keep them as the tracing is done,” he said.
The continuation of such operations, according to Mr. Bashinyorwa, will rely on the availability of funding and storage space once the kids are taken off the streets.
He said that the crew will carry out similar actions once individuals who were transported to Koblin Center were resettled.
He claimed that placing children on the streets puts them in danger from a variety of sources, such as sexual exploitation and traffic accidents, particularly in improvised housing.
He said these children should be taken back home so that they can enjoy their rights to protection and right to education.
“They are supposed to be in school, a street is not the right place for them to live. That is why it is important for the community in Napak to appreciate that the children are better off when they are in their own communities with their parents and they are able to go to school,” Mr Bashinyorwa said.
He added that special operations aimed against children traffickers would also be carried out.
“There are women who bring these children on the streets. When you look at where those children are, there are usually people who are behind them. The information that we have is that usually their mothers, who are in Napak, send the children to these women who use them for purposes of getting money from the public,” he said.
About Relocation Program
The number of children living on city streets was estimated by officials to be over 15,000 last year, and at least seven to fourteen-year-olds are pulled off the streets every month.
The Kampala Capital City Protection Ordinance 2022 was released by Kcca last year to offer a framework for the collection and rehabilitation of street children.
Last year, more than 300 kids were seized off the street and brought to the Koblin Youth Rehabilitation Center in the Napak District. However, the center offers room for up to 60 kids.