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Eldoret Street Urchins Complain of Harassment

Ever since the viral clip of various shops and stalls being looted in Eldoret town by persons purported to have been the street kids and their various families, the street dwellers have been faced harassment and torture ever since the new government came into power.

The kids who enjoyed different services financed by the previous administration from free health care whenever they felt sick to free daily lunch meals while others got identification documents that they used to acquire services like any other Kenyan citizen . Little did they know they would be caught in a cat and mouse chase with the county government, at what cost? Everything that they ever wished they would have like any other Kenyan went down the drain.

Since that day, they have known no peace but harassment and torture from the county government and a now feared dreadful group commonly known to locals as Koita. If arrested, the street kids are sent to Eldoret Children’s rescue centre where they claim the treatment there are inhumane and the environment not conducive for any human with sound mind.

“There is no way I am praising myself or any another person. There at the rescue centre, it is not a medical facility where you can claim to get treatment, these people come and break you and later you are dumped at the centre or even sent to jail. We bathe here on this river, if they find you, they beat and torture to the point of breaking your bones, arrest you and there are no medications given to you. From there if unlucky you’ll be sent to prison where you are sent to plough large tracks of land at Ngeria farm.”

Meet former street boy, who grew up in Pioneer rescue centre to become an activist championing for the human rights and welfare of street kids, families and youths from the slums. Benson condemns the kind of physical abuse these kids were subjected to by the County government of Uasin Gishu.

“I am a former street boy, grew up in the Pioneer rescue centre and at the moment, I am an activist championing for human rights for the street connected kids and youths in our slums. I condemn the harassment and abuse and disregard for human rights something that has been done by Uasin Gishu County government against the street families. The truth of the matter is, this is not justice and it is not right whatever the county is doing to these kids.” Said Benson Juma, human rights activist.

Just like any other individual who gets proper mentorship, Juma says all the kids require is mentorship and opportunities. Thanking the former county commissioner for helping with the issuance of identity cards to more than 500 individuals who now can apply for jobs and be self reliant.

“Here in the streets, these kids are very sober in mind and can be reasonable but they need to be given that chance and direction. Those young ones need the chance and opportunity to go to school just like their age mates, the youths to acquire relevant training like in TVETS, there are those who are aged that require legal documentations like the identity cards and I want to thank the former county commissioner Abdi Hassan, who helped me get about 500 cards for these individuals who now can apply for any job that they are qualified for and get that income that they can use to support their families.” Added the activist.

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