Luwero, Uganda | URN | Orphanages in Luwero district in the Central Region of Uganda are overwhelmed by high number of deserted children.
According to records, at least 91 children were relocated to orphanages after they were deserted by their parents and guardians.
The police crime report ranked Luwero as the second district with the highest cases of child desertion across the country after Busia district which is top with 98 cases.
Luwero district also registered 155 cases of neglected children in 2022 and ranked in ninth position across the country.
Joyce Namigadde, a Senior Probation Officer at Luwero district explains that some children are deserted due to lack of support from families, domestic violence, and poverty among others.
Namigadde says that after reporting the cases at police station, her office relocated the victims to childcare homes and few of them have reunited with their parents to date.
She however noted that the only eight childcare homes are now overwhelmed and if the practice continues, her office as well as police may fail to find where to relocate other victims in the future.
Namigadde says that they resolved to appeal to well-to-do families to embrace the adoption of such children because the childcare homes are now full to capacity.
When the deserted children are rescued, the Child and Family Protection Unit keep them at the child reception center before a child care home agrees to take them up.
But the Luwero Child Reception Center has a limited budget and depends on food donations from District Probation officers till the children are relocated.
Lydia Nabunya, the head of social workers at Happy Times Child Care Home in Katikamu sub county says that last year, they took in 10 deserted children and currently they look after a total of 160 children.
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Nabunya however noted that the home is overwhelmed and they are also advocating for the adoption of the children by local families.
Erastus Kibirango, the LCV Chairperson of Luwero says that they have also asked the District Community Development Office to table a budget which they will consider in the 2023/24 financial year for the construction of the district orphanage home since cases are escalating.
A total of 2,126 cases of child desertion were reported to the police countrywide in 2022 compared to 1,728 cases reported in 2021, giving a 23% increase in the cases.