Uganda to close over 50 unlicensed child care homes

Oasis of Life Orphanage children happy after receiving donations of clothing and other necessities from visiting guests - File Photo
Oasis of Life Orphanage children happy after receiving donations of clothing and other necessities from visiting guests - File Photo.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Youth and Children Affairs plans to close about 50 illegal child care homes across the country.

The ministry is concerned about reports suggesting a rise in child care institutions in most urban areas that are “unknown” to the government putting the lives of the inhabitants at risk.

Some of the children’s homes according to ministry officials cropped up in the last two years when the country was under lockdown. The State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs Sarah Mateke, says that the ministry has already written to the proprietors of the illegal homes seeking an explanation of how they began to operate without being licensed.

She says that the ministry is taking a keen interest to establish what takes place in such child care homes, the conditions under which the foster children are kept and the kind of people taking care of them.

Minister Mateke, who was in Kasese on Tuesday 22, February 2022 on an inspection visit, said the government had considered extending social services such as water and electricity to child care homes in the district given the vital role they play to raise children who would otherwise have no care.

The minister however demands local leaders to take a lot of interest in establishing how these institutions are established and their operations.

The minister who declined to reveal the details of the children’s homes earmarked for closure, said the ministry was ready to trace and resettle children from the affected homes back into their families and help establish an alternative care framework for those who do not have parents.

Read Also: The intricacies of orphanages in Uganda

Canon Josephat Bwalhuma, the director of Nzirambi Orphanage in Bukonzo wants the government to guide how these institutions can be registered given their significant role in society.

Bwalhuma wants the government to support Nzirambi with water supply noting that they have to trek about 3kms to River Nyamugasani in search of water.

Zainabu Asimwe, the acting Kasese District senior probation and social welfare officer attributes the growing number of children’s homes in the district to the high maternal mortality rate.

She however notes that many other children in orphanages across the district have parents who are able to look after them.