By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
August 31, 2013 (BENTIU) - Local authorities in Unity state have ordered for the collection of data to ascertain the number of street children in Rubkotna and Bentiu following concerns that the number could be on the rise.
The state ministry of gender and child welfare last year reported that it had documented 50 cases of street children.
The ministry said its social workers will investigate why children are leaving their homes for the streets of busy towns like Bentiu and the surrounding Rubkotna County.
Mary Paul Ngundeng, the newly appointed Minister for social development and child welfare urged parents to take care of their children.
“You have to take care of your children otherwise if you are not able to come here to the ministry and explain why. Maybe the ministry with the government with the local organizations can be able to help you so that you can take care of your children,” said Mary Paul Ngundeng
Minister Ngundeng said she has received disturbing reports from security officials in the state that young girls are seen walking on the streets at night. The minister says she has instructed social workers to find out what the girls do on the streets at night.
“Today in the morning I received call from security department they told me that last night while they were moving around the town, they saw alot of children in the street in Rubkotna also in Bentiu here and girls were the majority which is very painful.”
Ngundeng said the state plans to rent houses in Bentiu and hire teachers to teach English to the children loitering on the streets.
“We will put them in one class to learn English language. We provide them teachers in coordination with the Ministry of education so that we can help them to learn English as the official language of the country.