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Kampala police concerned about rising number of abandoned babies, young children

A todler who has been abandonned in the streets of Kampala.   -  
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Police in Uganda are concerned about the rising number of babies and young children that are being abandoned in the capital Kampala.

They say at least 30 youngsters below the age of 8 are dumped in the city every month.

The crime of abandoning babies has put an extra burden on foster care homes who depend on charity. Here is a report...

Uganda's Police says it's getting more and more calls from people finding abandoned babies in the city.

The babies are mostly left on dumpsites and roadsides says Patrick Onyango, police spokesperson , Kampala Metropolitan

"At this central police station in Kampala in the month of August we registered two kids that were deserted or abandoned...and that is just one station registering two cases and we have nineteen stations if you add all that will bring the number up"

According to the 2022 Police crime report the institution recorded an increase of 23 percent in child desertion crime.

Local authorities blame the crime of abandoning babies on fathers denying paternity, unwanted pregnancies and parents struggling to afford to keep them.

And after failing to trace their parents, police place the babies in foster care homes.

But most of these childcare institutions are overcrowded.

"Right now I am being strained, you see my shoulder is being strained because I cannot handle them...we are trying to see that if they grow and reach an age that they can fend for themselves we have to let them go off." 

Most of the foster care homes in the capital Kampala are designed to accommodate not more than fifty children at any one time.

But they are being forced to take in more babies who are homeless.

To reduce the burden, police officers are trying to educate communities about the dangers of unintended pregnancies.

The Uganda government has also set aside a fund for low income earners.

With these interventions local authorities believe they will empower young mothers financially so that they can take care of their children.

But also reduce the number of babies that are left abandoned.

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