Nairobi police arrest, lock up 470 street children

Wednesday May 24 2017

Street children, Nairobi

Street children sleeping outside a shop on Moi Avenue in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By STELLA CHERONO
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Police in Nairobi have arrested nearly 500 street children and placed them in custody, in a crackdown that began Monday morning.

The children and a few adults have been placed in different cells in the city, Nairobi County Police Commander Japhet Koome said.

By Tuesday evening, 470 minors had been arrested.

Mr Koome said the crackdown on street children and families will continue, and that those who have been nabbed will be screened before they are sent back to their homes or rehabilitation centres in different parts of the country.

“Their numbers have been increasing and they have been mugging and harassing people on the streets,” Mr Koome said.

Early Tuesday morning, police and City Hall workers were seen on the streets, picking up the children.

The children were taken to the Central and Kamukunji police stations, among other detention centres.

The Consortium of Street Children estimates that there are over 60,000 street children in Nairobi.

Police estimate that a quarter of this number are in the city centre.

The Social Protection Fund allocated to the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children by the Treasury is meant to cater for the welfare of the children.

The Treasury increased the amount by 64 per cent, to Sh9.7 billion in the 2015/16 financial year. The money allocated in the 2014/15 fiscal year was Sh5.9 billion.