The minister of state for Youth and Children Affairs, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, has said that government failure to release Shs 3.4 billion as a supplementary budget to her ministry has affected the progress in the implementation of withdrawal, rehabilitation, tracing and resettlement of the street children.
The ministry was only given Shs 1 billion for the effort, money she says us not enough.
Speaking to The Nile Post, Nakiwala said that failure to release all the money undermined the implementation of the programme.
“The money was not released because they said they didn’t have it and when they say that it’s final. They tell you we shall consider you next year. It means that in another year, you will start afresh to ask for the supplementary budget but you can’t ask for supplementary for over two years because a supplementary is supposed to be an emergency,” she said.
She explained that right now they have street children who have clocked 18 years of age and these children are supposed to be held for only a maximum of two years.
“You are supposed to have money to resettle those children back to their families. Once they clock 18 years of age, you are supposed to give them some tool kits. You are supposed to give them a good start in life. You can’t just send them away, “she explained.
Children on streets, authorities say, are exposed to multiple hazards among which include sexual abuse, the scorching sun and motor accidents.
Some of them end up engaging in criminal activities to make ends meet.
In 2019, KCCA passed the Child Protection Ordinance 2019 to enhance child protection and control the influx of street children into the city.
According to the ordinance, any child found loitering in a place such as a bar, restaurant, market, business or practicing commercial sex shall be rescued and handled by the council or probation and welfare officer.
Anybody found giving money or food to a street child in Kampala risks imprisonment of not less than six months or a fine of Shs 40, 000.
Similarly, any parent or guardian who neglects his or her child and allows him or her to loiter on the street, bar or restaurant, risks imprisonment of not less than six months or a fine of Shs 40,000.