By Manano Bruno
Zombo. Numbers of street children fleeing from their homes is on increase in Paidha town in Zombo district as they look for survival.
This has made the residents of the town council to express their disappointment with their leaders for failing to put an end to the sickening emergence of street kids whom they have accused of perpetuating crime in the business town.
Hungry and shabby looking children are always seen scampering for empty water bottles thrown in dustbins which they later sell to local juice makers. Many of them are on the streets because of alleged mistreatment and failure by the parents to provide necessities for them.
Many of them are school drop-outs. Our correspondent conversed with at least 19 street kids who all attributed their stay in the streets to violence and inability by their parents to meet some of their basic needs like food, shelter and clothing among others.
“Am not an orphan but went on empty stomach for about two days because one of our goats strangled itself with a rope between two trees and died. I feared to be beaten by my parents. This forced me to join my friends who told me they were relocating to Paidha town to look for a job,” the six year old Umar said.
When asked how they feed and survive in case of sickness, 13 year old Okema said: “We sell empty bottles to local juice makers and also steal in the night to night so that we can get some little money and survive.’
The chairman Paidha town council John Paschal Wapokra said he was not aware of the existence of street kids in the town but vowed to cause a council meeting to deal with the challenge.
The street kids confirmed to our correspondent that they are not orphans but do not feel like going back home even though they dare the cold very night.
Christine Anican resident of Paidha town council said she feels pity for the suffering children whom she says are resorting to street life because most parents have failed to fulfill their parental responsibilities but also faults the town council authorities for staying aloof as if they like what they see in the streets day and night.
The Community Development Officer Paidha town council, Joyce Angala, says she is yet to file a report on the street children whom she says are becoming a menace and source of insecurity in the town.
“We are going to look for ways how challenge can be tackled in the shortest time possible especially to reunite the children with their parents and guardians,” Angala said.
The officer in charge Child and Family Protection Unit at Paidha Police station, Lillian Dravuru attributes the emergence of street kids to neglect by parents whom she says must be followed because they are soaring cases of juvenile offenders in the town.
There are now plans to establish a juvenile home for rehabilitating street children in Zombo district.