A street child was hacked to death after he engaged in a food fight with other desperately hungry children. Brutally stabbed at the neck, the boy bled to death moments after the fight.
Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome said the boy, who was struggling to have a fair share of the food dropped by passerby, died shortly after he was attacked at Globe Cinema Roundabout area in Nairobi. The police also said they have taken the attacker into custody and that he will be arraigned in court on Tuesday morning over the murder.
There have been tens of reports urging the government of Kenya to make provisions for street families. Likewise, there have been several reports of what the ragged, hungry and rejected children go through everyday, including heavy sexual abuse that the street child (also called Chokoraas) go through.
Reports say older street residents line up young ones (both girls and boys) at night and either sodomize the boys or rape the girls – a situation said to be a way of welcoming new chokoraas into the “base”.
What’s more unfortunate is that the state seems not to care and the extent of negligence for the street children has come up to unprecedented levels. Also, there is no official figure on the number of homeless children in Kenya – a clear sign of the lack of interest by Kenyan authorities of the problem.
Abandoned by the state, a handful of charities offer help. Though hundreds have received help, there are still thousands on the streets yet to be reached.
In 2015, Starehe politician Francis Mwangi appealed to the Nairobi government to work with leaders in the city to relocate street families. But afterwards, more children ended up on the streets after the 2007/8 post-poll violence that left 1,200 dead and at least 600,000 displaced.
In efforts to beautify the city before the visit by US President Barack Obama last July, street children were relocated from the hard floor they sleep on but their whereabouts were not made clear. It was later alleged prior to the Obama’s visit that street children had been taken by county askaris and the NYS to Joseph Kang’ethe Primary School and transferred to the Ruai Rehabilitation Centre. But other reports say the street families returned after Obama left.
In a call to make the government deal with this problem, Mombasa county commissioner Nelson Marwa cautioned that Somali-based militia group was recruiting children aged 15 and younger who were homeless and poor.