The County Government of Busia is putting up a multimillion-one-stop child protection center to help address the issues of child safety and wellbeing. According to the County Director Children Services, Mr. Aston Maungu, the center, which is set for completion, end of this year, will help ease the problem of child abuse and vulnerability in the region.
“The County Government is funding the facility at a cost of 44 Million Kenya Shillings. We believe that cases that have been taking months will now take a day or two,” says Mr. Maungu. The rationale to have the Child Protection Center, he adds was to have a harmonized and well-coordinated provision of Child Protection services within the county.
At least 3,000 in child labor
Busia County with a population of about 878,000 people struggles with the issues of child protection. Based on the statistics from the Department of children services, the border County has over 110,000 orphans and vulnerable children, largely because of HIV/Aids.
While OVCs is the main issue in the region, the rights of children are violated in different ways, with over 3,000 engaged in child labor. “We also have a very big challenge on defilement. We have been handling an average of 250 cases of defilement per year; those are cases that have reached court,” notes Maungu.
How the center will boost child protection in Busia
If the words of Mr. Maungu are anything to go by, then justice for survivors of child abuse in Busia will be served promptly once the center is up and running. The center is fashioned on Huduma bora model where different child protection services are provided and we envision a center that will fast track child protection issues.
“For example, if a child is abused, she will get a P3 form from the center, there will be a children officer, medical officer to give first aid, there will be a police officer to register the case, there will be a counsellor, a legal officer and any other service that a child requires. We hope the center will be a model for child protection within the County,” explains Mr. Maungu.
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