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KCCA To the Public: Refrain From Giving Handouts To Street Children

On 1, August 2022, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) launched an operation in which over 262 children were picked off the streets such that they could be re-integrated with their families in the Karamoja sub-region where many came from.

According to the KCCA executive director Dorothy Kisakka, a team has been deployed across all divisions of Kampala to round street children off the streets. They are then taken to Napak District at Koblin Skilling center, where they are rehabilitated and later reunited with their families.

In the exercise, Ms. Kisakka warned the perpetrators of child trafficking and those giving them money, saying they will be apprehended.

While in an interview on The Fatboy Show, Peter Lwanga Mayanja, a probation and welfare officer at KCCA explained that the children are to receive food and healthcare at the Koblin Centre and are to be reunified with their families after a period of 3-6 months.

“Most children on the streets have parents, some living in Kisenyi and Katwe and others in Napak district in Karamoja. Each rescued child has a family they are attached to, it could be a mother, father, or any blood relative. So they will be re-settled with their families," Lwanga said.

According to Lwanga, most street children are trafficked from the Napak district. The operations with KCCA and the Ministry of Gender are to deter the children from returning to the streets as food and security are to be provided to their families.

“As KCCA, we call upon the public to stop giving money to street children because it's what's keeping them on the streets. Many were resisting and wanted to remain there, yet their numbers have gone out of hand, and some had become hostile. They could scratch cars, slap and spit on some people that refuse to give them money,” he said.

He reported an increase in the number of street children which has grown up to 1000-2000, something that violates the Children's Act that states that children must be either home or at school.

“We came up with the Kampala Capital City Child Protection Ordinance to bring those giving children handouts to book. The children are on the streets because passersby and drivers give them something. So the ordinance intends to punish those giving handouts to these children," he explained.

“For now, we are sensitizing people about the ordinance. We shall be on the streets of Kampala to ensure that passersby do not hand out money to these children. Whoever does so will be apprehended and brought to books,” he held.

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