Kayonza - Residents of Kabarondo town, Kayonza district are worried by the increasing number of street children.
The residents expressed their concerns to district authorities who were mapping Kabarondo town for expansion yesterday.
Residents say the children pose a security threat in the area because some of them are involved in crimes at night.
“One day my daughter hurt herself running away from these children at 8.00 pm. They normally gather in numbers along the market, noisy and potentially dangerous,” said Claudine Nyirahabimana, a resident of Kabarondo.
She added that the unruly children between the ages of 13 and 18 roam around the town, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, snatching whatever they come across.
“We ask the authorities to help us...the number of the street children is increasing daily.”
Samuel Ruvebana, another resident, blamed the problem on some parents’ negligence.
“The children also connive with thieves and robbers to break into people’s homes and shops. Poor parenting is partly to blame...Parents should assist authorities to check the issue,” he said.
Felecian Neziryimana, 16, one of the street children, told The New Times that he is tired of street life and would love to go back to school.
Theogene Ndayisenga, 17, another street boy described street life as terrible, adding the majority of them would like to be resettled.
“My parents neglected me, the reason I am here. I engage in all sorts of evil. I smoke marijuana, drink Kanyanga, sniff petrol, and way lay women,” he confessed. “Sometimes I hate what I do.”
Anita Mutesi, Kayonza vice Mayor Social Affairs, said the issue of street children is under control, after establishment of two rehabilitation centres.
She noted that the persistence of the problem was due to the fact that some of the children came to the trading centre from other areas.