RUSIZI - Residents of Kamembe town, Rusizi district have expressed concern over the rising number of street children in the town. The children, who walk in groups, have been accused of theft and insulting people with obscene words, as well as begging.
“Over time these children have become a nuisance, especially during the night. I saw three of them last night stealing the side mirrors of a motorcycle,” says Aimable Ntamuheza, a local resident.
The Executive Secretary of Kamembe Sector, Viateur Nduwayo says most of the children are sent to the streets by their parents to beg, and end up getting accustomed to street life.
“The sector will penalise all those lazy parents who prefer to send their children to the streets to beg, than taking them to school,” said Nduwayo.
The sector authorities revealed that they have managed to take seven street children back to school. Rusizi district also intends to construct a home for street children soon.
In a meeting with the authorities, some of the street children showed a willingness to go back to school, but are reluctant to live at their parental homes.
Downtown, the children live a pathetic life out on the streets.
“We eat left-overs from restaurants. We pay Rwf 100 for the food,” said an 8-year old who gave his name only as Danger. Currently, more than 30 children of less than 18 years sleep in a trench besides Rusizi II Road.