While walking around Eldoret town, you are likely to meet two, three, or more beggars, most of who are usually physically challenged in one way or the other, in other words, called disabled.
These beggars are usually strategically located, with their favorite spots being where there is huge traffic of people.
It is now emerging that a majority of the individuals who beg on the streets are people trafficked into the country.
According to the Acting Uasin Gishu County Coordinator in the Directorate of Children’s Services Elvis Kurgat, the number of street beggars has been on the rise in the past few years.
This is an issue unique to Eldoret because it is a transit town, with most of the beggars trafficked from neighboring countries and being brought into the country by individuals out to make money using them.
“Counter-trafficking is an issue that we are addressing as so many children and brought in as beggars with those behind this criminal act using them for economic exploitation,” said Kurgat in an interview in Eldoret, after a two-day training with Journalists in Uasin Gishu County.
He noted that some of the individuals behind the trafficking have been arrested and charged in court with the trafficked persons being repatriated back into their home countries.
The Directorate of Children’s Services boss also noted that they are working on addressing the street families challenge.
Kurgat said with collaboration with a number of government institutions and other stakeholders, they have managed to reduce the number of street children in Eldoret town by half.
A 2019 census had revealed that there were 2,994 street families in the town.
“We have managed to reduce the number by almost 50 percent. The challenge in addressing this issue has been the lack of places of safety for the children as we have few temporary places where we can place them in this county. We’ll do the process in bits to ensure all children have a place they can call home,” he noted.