The Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry has rolled an ambitious programme to rid Accra and other major cities across the country of street children.
The five-year programme is expected to rid the over 6,000 children roaming the streets across the country.
Coordinator of the ‘Operation Clear Children off the Street’, Richard Adjetey, says the success of the project will depend on the unwavering support of key stakeholders such as the media, churches and donor agencies.
“To ensure the sustainability of this programme, we must have a very good policy framework on it. For instance, if you take interventions like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty…we must also have both the policy and legal framework for this project.
“We must also see it as an intervention. It’s very critical if we really want to ensure that these children get off the street,” he adds.
Mr Adjetey spoke Monday on current affairs programme, PM Express , on the Joy News channel on MultiTV.
He notes that “streetism is a social protection concept and we must be able to deal with it. Just as we are dealing with the orphans…the aged who don’t have anything to do, people with disability who don’t have anything do, we must be able to have interventions that help them [street children].”
Watch more from the interview in the video below.
The Gender and Social Protection Minister Otiko Afisah Djaba recently made headlines when she appealed to Ghanaians to stop giving money to beggars on the street.
According to her, those who give money on the street encourage the bad practice which must end, confident that the five-year project will yield results.
Some principal streets of Accra are constantly inundated with beggars including children.
Mostly children from slum communities in Accra and some West and Central African countries, have invaded the streets of Accra, begging for alms to feed themselves and their families.
They mostly invade ceremonial routes, streets, under bridges, trees around busy or populated areas in the capital and in traffic, desperately trying to get something from benevolent individuals.
Some children even pretend to be sick, preying on the emotions of unsuspecting members of the public in order to get their daily bread.
In some of the cases, there are adults who are being pushed at traffic junctions by children or other young persons as they go about begging.
Popular areas in the capital to find beggars in the city are Madina Zongo Junction, Kaneshie overhead bridge, Nima and Maamobi, and at traffic intersections at Sunny FM, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) building, Accra City Hotel (former Novotel).
Also, there are hordes of them around National Theatre, King Tackie Tawiah Overpass, 37 Military Hospital, Kawukudi Junction, El-Wak, Airport City, Airport Junction and Accra Mall.
Other areas are the Okponglo-Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and Graphic Road stretch, the footbridges at the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, Shiashie, Atomic Junction as well as popular bus terminals like the Neoplan Bus Stop at Achimota, Circle and Kaneshie.
The phenomenon has become a topical issue as many people are worried about the safety of children and why there are many beggars on Accra streets.