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State of missing children in Uasin Gishu County

 

Cases of missing children in Kenya have been on the increase in the recent past.

 

In Uasin Gishu County, 28 cases of missing children have been reported since July 2021.

 

A report released by Missing Child Kenya indicates that a total of 1186 children were reported missing between July 2016 and December 2021.

 

According to the County Coordinator for Children Services in Uasin Gishu county, Richard Mugata, the distribution of the 28 cases in the six sub-counties, with Ainabkoi leading with eight cases, Kapseret seven, Turbo and Soy sub-counties each reported six missing children while Kesses reported  one case, however, Moiben sub-county did not report any child missing during the period.

 

He stated that though there has been an unclear pattern in how the children go missing, the cases occur in different ways such as children aged 16 years disappearing from their homes and moving to other places, alleged abduction cases stand at 43.

 

“Cases of missing children come in many ways. It could be that a child aged 16 just disappears from home. A child could have just decided to move to a different location from home to a relative’s place,” he explained.

 

Mugata clarified that the County Department for Child Protection and Welfare has partnered with different media stations to continue sensitizing the locals on child protection, as a way of ensuring that the number is reduced.

 

He added that currently, they have a six months partnership with Upendo Radio that will see a number of child issues discussed on air, in a bid to keep the parents educated and aware.

 

He added that they have also reached out to schools to teach children ways to ensure their safety and reduce cases of abduction. Additionally, he says, there are committees in every sub-county that look into the welfare of children, sensitize the community and caution them on how to take care of children.

 

Mugata has however stated that in as much as different parents have different parenting methods, he has called on them to ensure that they keep their children secure.

 

He added that he has seen a number of children wandering around at night and this easily makes them a target for kidnap.

He also said that the child officers are sometimes given a chance to attend major school events such as Parents’ Day which gives them an opportunity to address issues touching on children.

 

He lauded the government for its continued support through funding and added that more funds needed to channeled to the department.

 

He said that the Department of Children mostly relies on stakeholders to support their programmes, adding that there is always a challenge when only one child officer is in charge of more than one children’s office.

 

“Child protection needs to be funded more. Mostly we rely on stakeholders to support our programmes. As an office, for instance, this is the only children’s officer in the county children’s office, and therefore to manage and intervene in certain circumstances may be quite a challenge,’’ Mugata added.

 

Source:KNA

 

 

 

 

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