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City Hall to relocate street children to posh Sh200m Ruai home

Nairobi residents and businesses are set to get a reprieve with the completion of a home for 3,000 street children in Ruai expected to improve security.

According to Nairobi County Executive for Education, Youth and Social Services Anne Lokidor, the Sh200 million home will be completed by mid-2017.

The county has been promising to set up a home for the street children who invade the Central Business District in the hundreds each day causing concern over security.

In October 2013, deputy governor Jonathan Mueke said the rehabilitation centre for street children would be completed by early 2014. The county currently has capacity to hold only 269 street children in homes across the city even with charity organisations putting an estimated number of street children at 60,000.

The Consortium of Street Children, an international charity, estimates that street children in all Kenyan urban centres could number between 250,000 and 300,000.

The county runs one in Kayole that currently houses 95 children, Bahati with 103 kids, Shauri Moyo with 28 and Joseph Kang’ethe which accommodates 43.

LACK OF LAND

Ms Lokidor said in a statement that their expansion and upgrade is, however, limited by the lack of land which made the county opt for the Ruai site.

“Our four rehabilitation centres are stretched to capacity even as the number of children coming to the street from the slums and neighbouring counties keeps rising. The Ruai centre has enough space to accommodate up to 10,000 children in subsequent expansion phases,” she said.

City residents have accused street children of being behind incidents of insecurity in the streets.

Once complete, the street children would all be rounded up and taken to the rehabilitation centre, which is equipped to offer early childhood education, primary and secondary education as well as sports.

“There will also be a multi-purpose hall where the children will have space to develop and showcase their talents, it’s a comprehensive facility designed to rehabilitate and re-integrate the street children to the society,” said Ms Lokidor.

The problem of street families has plagued Nairobi for ages defying several efforts including an initiative by former President Mwai Kibaki to train about 3,000 street children in vocational skills through the National Youth Service back in 2013.

Residents have been troubled with the resurgence of the street children after they were temporarily relocated before US President Barack Obama’s visit last July.

SOURCE: Business Daily