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Child neglect on the rise

01 November 2012, 15:25 Kelvin Mureithi

Imenti North district Children’s Officer Benjamin Kinyua has expressed concern over the increasing number of abandoned children in Meru town and its environs.

According to his records, three children aged between ten months and four years have been abandoned this week.

Kinyua was speaking to the media in his office on Thursday when he said that the cases could be attributed to domestic brawls between couples. He noted that once the couple disagreed, they abandoned their children leaving them with no one to care for them.

He said that the two abandoned children were taken back to their parents after consultations with the District Children’s officer. Their mother - who is a drunkard - had left the children at a sewer near Majengo area in Meru town and sold the family’s axe so that she could get money to buy alcohol.

He said that poverty and financial burden forced parents in the area to abandon their children, adding that women were overwhelmed once their spouses refused to share the responsibility of raising their children.

He said the growing number of street children could be attributed to the growing moral decay where parents abandon their children and deny them basic rights and necessities.

He said that single mothers were rejected by the society and are treated as outcasts and this forces them to abandon their children since most of them have no source of income to care for their children.

The District Children’s officer urged the government to come up with child support programs that will assist the young families economically.

He warned parents who abandoned their children that they were breaking the law and could be charged with neglect.

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