By Cuthbert Otim
The Soroti Street children have expressed their willingness to vacate the streets but on condition that they government gives them package.
This was revealed by the Soroti Senior City Probation Officer, Amos Oluka in an exclusive phone interview with this reporter yesterday 8th February 2021.
Oluka said most street children spoken to are asking for a package from government to enable them start life after the Streets.
“Most of these children are on the Streets because of either broken families, the insurgencies that ravaged Teso and Social irresponsibility,” Oluka said.
Teso has suffered from cattle rustlers, the Uganda People’s Army (UPA) insurgency, and most recently the LRA incursion into Teso. These forced government to move people into camps that were infamously to called Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps.
These IDP camps were also characterized by many problems including; poor sanitation, lack of food, overcrowding, sexual immorality and diseases.
Speaking to this website on Monday 8th Feb 2021, a one Emou Charles a born of Asuret sub county in Soroti district said he only left home after his parents separated and his father brought in a another woman. He claims the stepmother later mistreated them forcing them out of home into the City Streets.
Peter Ambrose Otim, a street kid from Tubur Sub County still in Soroti district also attributes their coming to the streets to the loss of their parents to the insurgencies that ravaged the Teso sub regions in recent years.
Women and girls were forced to trade sex for basic necessities in order to keep themselves and their families alive. Rape and sexual abuse were very common within the camps.
In 2003 when LRA invaded Teso larger camps were created in areas of Orungo, Obalanga, Acowa all in Amuria district.
People of Odudui, Arapai, Katine, Kamuda and Gweri in Soroti district were forced to leave their homes for safety.
Whereas residents of Abarilela and parts of Ngariam, Usuk, Magoro in the eastern district of Katakwi, the cattle corridor due to persistent insurgency caused by the cattle rustlers also fled their homes for their dear lives.
When war intensified these Internally Displace People were forced take refuge in Soroti town.
With high levels of sexual activity and rape and low levels of contraception use, HIV/AIDS spread rapidly hence resulting into the death of many who left behind orphans forcing the orphans to flee the villages for the streets.
Consequently a generation was born and brought up in these horrible conditions of fear and uncertainty with the Street Children being one of the byproducts.
Oluka said that much as there are social problems forcing children to leave their home for the streets, members of the community have neglected their social responsibility to groom the would be citizenry of good caliber to the society.
He called on members of the public to take every child as their own for the betterment of their localities.