Drought causes Kenya street kids crisis

From MARIA MACHARIA
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA is experiencing a surge in the number of street children because of the worst drought in decades.
Children’s rights groups said there was evidence of increased numbers of children living on the streets after leaving their families to seek
livelihood opportunities in major cities.
“With the ongoing drought, children are increasingly vulnerable to
separation from their families,” said a United Nations Children’s Fund
(Unicef) spokesperson.
The children are at high risk of dropping out of school, of partaking in child labour, child marriage, being sexual exploited, becoming pregnant and finding other negative coping mechanisms including female genital mutilation and cutting.
Unicef disclosed that during the first half of 2017, about 13 195 children (7 769 boys and 5 516 girls) were identified as separated while 1 629 children (757 boys and 972 girls) were unaccompanied minors in Garissa and West Pokot counties.
In addition, a total of 15 957 children (6 005 boys and 9 952 girls) have been displaced since January due to direct impacts of the ongoing drought.
Children are bearing the brunt of the drought.
Since January, 37 121 children have been admitted for severe acute
malnutrition.
Drought conditions have deteriorated following below-average performance of the rainy seasons in 2016.
It is estimated that 3,5 million people are in need of humanitarian
assistance.
CAJ News

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