Street KidGovernment has stepped up measures to rid streets of Lusaka and other big towns of street kids and has subsequently called on the members of the public to stop giving handouts to children in the streets. Community Development and Social Services Minister Catherine Namugala said Government’s strategy is based on principles of prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration of all street children.

Ms Namugala said giving money, food and clothes to street children only encouraged them to remain in the streets where boys engaged in crime and girls in prostitution. The Minister said assistance to street children would only make sense if given to an established childcare facility rather than to them while still on the streets.

She called on all Zambians to develop a culture of assisting institutions that cared for children as a way of partnering with Government in solving the problem of street kids.

Ms Namugala was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when she officially launched the Street Children Reintegration Programme and handed over two vehicles to the Social Welfare Departments for Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces.

She said the Welfare Departments should use the vehicles for the intended purposes of transport and inspecting orphanages and other childcare centres adding that they would have no excuse for not doing so.

Ms Namugala commended all childcare centres for supplementing Government’s efforts in solving the problem of the rising number of street children in the streets, which is posing a great threat to the future of the country.

She, however, urged all people running child care centres not to make business out of the children they cared for adding that their responsibility should be to give them love, care and protection which they could not find in the streets.

Meanwhile, Ms Namugala observed that Members of Parliament (MPs) have a task of sensitising families in their constituencies about the danger of keeping children in the streets.

The Minister noted that through their local Councils, MPs should encourage the extended family system that offers security to orphans and other vulnerable children.

Ms Namugala observed that the cooperation with all stakeholders would greatly enhance Government’s efforts of removing children from the streets and giving them a decent life and education for a better Zambia.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. One of the biggest problem I have found in our policy makers is lack of capacity to come up with long term plans.There is a tendancy to look at challenges irrationally hence coming up with mediocre slutions that do not even address the problems.

    When one looks at the head line like ” Goverment steps up measures to rid streets of kids ” one thinks there are some long lasting solution in the content of the article. I am not condeming our journalists that they are being sensational in their reporting but we have seen how naive our ministers are in solving problems in our nation.

    The problem of street children in our country is not a new development at all. It has been there for decades and getting worse day by day. And now here is a minister who thinks that one way to get rid of the children from the street is by not giving alms. Definately no one would like to see these children on the streets but what Ms Namugala should bear in mind is that these children are already on the steet and some indeed have no homes. Like any body else they have physiological needs for them to survive.I think you will agree with me that if not given any food or money these some children will go and brake into shops and steal.This to them is a basic survival instict which they are likely to resort to in such circumstances. So in this respect, what is required is a long term plan of how thse children will be cared for and be incopararated into society so that they can become meaningful citizens. There is a solution to every problem and what we need is to scratch our heads and think twice and definately the solution shall be foud. The problem is that we turn a blind eye to such sensetive issues, sweep everything under the carpet and pretending that all is well. If I may ask how much was allocated in this years budget to address the plight of the street children? What sort of long term plan does the govement has to solve this proble?. If there is none then your ministry may not as well be there because one of the biggest challenges your ministry is facing is this very problem.

    I wonder how you guys feel driving along the streets of Lusaka, in a $53000 vehicle loaned to you at the exepense of the poor Zambians, looking at these homeless dirty stinking children who would have been great geniuses in schools if they were given chance. Hey guys stop blagging,we need people who can think between lines.After all some of these children are those whose parents have not seen their retirement packages.You guys shall never get our praises untill we see things getting better in our beloved mother Zambia.This is my message even to the rest of the ministers in their respective ministries.

    Francis Ng’andwe
    Canada,Edmonton

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  2. Hye Francis, right on the money. I don’t why why there is this affinity for expensive cars among our leaders. They find it so easy to pour money in depreciating things like cars which are here today and gone tomorrow. Education is an asset. Just the money spent on that one car can dent if redirected towards long terms cause, you would be amazed at how far it would go. Streets kids are just a results of something wrong in our system. And we need to fix that and the results will trickle down to the street kids problem

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