Wina unveils street kids statistics for September, 2012

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—At least 13,500 kids were on the Zambian streets countrywide as of September 2012.

Minister of Gender and Child Development, Inonge Wina, told Parliament that 11,475 of the street children were male while 2026 children were female.

Ms Wina revealed that of these, 193 street kids below the age of 18 were integrated with their families as of June 2012, while 1,095 children between the ages of 15 and 18 received skills training at the Zambia National Service (ZNS).

She said government remains committed to reintegrating street children with their families as a first priority, saying only those found to have no relatives are placed in child facilities.

Ms Wina said the high number of children living on the streets could be attributed to several factors such as divorce, the HIV and AIDS pandemic and poverty among others.

She said her ministry helps former street children who obtain skills training to find employment as a way of preventing them from going back to the streets.

Ms Wina urged Members of Parliament to invest part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) towards providing care and support towards street children.

The minister was responding to a question by Bwacha Member of Parliament, Sidney Mushanga, who wanted to know how many street children there were country-wide as of September, 2012, what the major causes of children being on the streets are, how many street children were re-integrated with their families/relatives as of June, 2012, and whether the Government has any empowerment programmes for households where the street children have been re-integrated and, if so, what the programmes are.