One of Sonko’s campaign pledges- the rehabilitation of street children and families- has kicked off in earnest. The Nairobi County Governor on Tuesday night launched the major crackdown aimed at evicting street children from the Nairobi CBD.
More than 200 street families were evicted in the crackdown by the Nairobi County Environment Rapid Response Team on Tuesday night.
According to Sonko, the street children will receive treatment for their drug addictions in the rehabilitation centers.
“The rescued street children will receive treatment for their addiction in our rehabilitation centers as well as get life skills including enrolling them back in school,” said Sonko.
Peter Mbaya of the City Inspectorate Department said those aged 18 years and above were taken to Central, Kamukunji, and Makongeni police stations. Underage kids were taken to YMCA in Makadara and others to different homes in Kayole.
The operation comes amid pressure from Nairobians for a cleaner and safer city. There were rising cases of street children attacking city dwellers by snatching their valuables and even sexually harassing them.
Globe Roundabout, Tom Mboya Street, around Kenya Cinema, and Moi Avenue are some of the common hideouts.
“Some of these so-called street families are actually gangsters. By removing them from the streets, we will help reduce crime within CBD,” Mbaya said.
Mbaya said the operation will continue up to the end of this week while Sonko said the operation will be continuous.
Sonko also added that additional installation of CCTV cameras and ongoing street lighting programme will assist in the fight against crime.
While the operation comes as a relief for many Nairobians, doubts remain on whether the eviction will be permanent as previous attempts have seen the street children escape from rehab centres and return to the streets after a few weeks.
For now, the initiative has been welcomed by a majority of Nairobians.
Below are some photos from the operation.