The Citizen

9th March 2021

Galania’s street children

No one is quite sure how many children are homeless in Galania. A Human Rights Watch report from 2011 estimated that there were as many as 23,000. It is challenging to accurately reflect the prevalence of children living and working on the streets.

“Previously [they] were much more visible, however, this decrease in visibility does not necessarily equal a decrease in the actual numbers. You learn to look for the signs,” says a UNICEF representative. “Sometimes they’ll be dirty or carrying bags of clothes. Sometimes you can tell from the way they sit. They’re seen as the lowest of the low.”

In Bahdia, children face a lot of abuse. “There are gangs round here,” says one boy we spoke to, “and worse.” The situation is not better in other cities like Santini and Aranti.

The drought has in fact seen a huge rise in the numbers of children alone in urban centres. The economic development prevalent in the southern region is a major contributing factor to the numbers. People look at the cities thinking that there will be opportunities for them there.  In fact coming to the city may make their problems far worse.