April 13, 2012

The Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem South Constituency, Hon.Ohene Konadu Gifty has blamed mothers for being the major cause of the increasing number of children on the streets of Ghana.

Mrs Ohene Konadu traced this astounding situation to the negligence of mothers who after suffering neglect as a result of broken homes leave their children to wander around aimlessly thereby ending up on the streets for survival.

For them (children) to survive, the legislator said they resort to hawking on the streets as an alternative for making it in life whereas the girls also indulge in practices such as prostitution thereby endangering their lives.

She argued that although the issue of broken homes prevailed in the olden days the rate of streetism, then, was not as disturbing as we have now.

“Look, our forefathers use to marry 3 to 4 wives but when breakups occur the children were not affected since their mothers took good care of them. I don’t think broken home is a problem, what I think is that there is something wrong with our mothers of today,” she added.

Hon. Konadu was speaking on an Accra based radio station, Pravda FM, today when she was commenting on the issue of streetism in Ghana as today, April 12, 2012 marks international street children’s day under the theme: “challenging perceptions”.

According to the MP, we have laws in the country which frown on such activities but implementing it had been a major challenge.

“We have the law but implementation plans are lacking, hence the need to adopt strategic measures for this problem to be addressed once and for all. I believe with hardwork and persistence, we can chalk some success in this area,” she intimated.

She however endorsed the need to empower traditional institutions such as the home, school and the church to also do their best to help curb this menace of streetism.

Recent statistics from a research conducted by the Department of Social Welfare indicates that there are about 33,000 children living on the streets of Ghana.

When asked whether she agreed that inequality was a major factor increasing the statistics of streetism, she said no, arguing that because society was dynamic things are changing and the youth in their quest to seek for greener pastures migrate to urban centres with their peers.

She however advised stakeholders to intensify their fight against this menace.

Godwin Allotey Akweiteh/Ghanamps.gov.gh