At least five cases concerning child neglect are reported every day at Migori County Children’s offices, according to statistics from the department.
Surprisingly, most of the cases involved Civil Servants and more so members of the disciplined forces who abandon their families when they are transferred away from their home areas.
The Deputy Migori County Children’s Coordinator, Nancy Akello also said such cases are also prevalent among village-based young adults who are suffering from unemployment.
Akello was speaking during a Children’s Affairs Forum in Migori town that brought together senior civil servants, children protecting agencies, the civil society, religious and political leaders.
She said in Nyatike area, 40 percent of the cases reported about child neglect involved fishermen and the remaining percentage police officers, teachers and employees in the mainstream government departments.
The official blamed alcoholism to the worrying trend of child neglect and unplanned living styles that has led the perpetrators to wallow in debts.
As result of living beyond their pay-slips or income, many of the parents have gone into a borrowing- spree rendering them helpless in terms of taking care of their families and many have opted to run-away completely from their responsibilities at home, stressed Akello.
She said more than two thirds of the child neglect cases were as a result of parents who take to alcoholism leaving the children without food, shelter, clothing and medical attention.
To prepare the children for a meaningful future life, there was need for chiefs and police officers to press for charges against parents who neglect their children, she added.
Joel Onyango, a pastor with the Maranatha Church said child neglect was criminal and the concerned parents should be prosecuted and made to provide parental responsibility to guarantee their children quality life.
Children need care and protection for them to grow into responsible citizens who can be equipped with skills for the country’s development, said the church leader.
Saying there were rampant cases of child sex abuse within the sugar belt and the lake region in the County, Onyango stressed the need to also involve officials of sugar companies in the campaigns to solve the problem.
Source: Kenya News Agency