Street beggars call for help

Beggars in Juba are calling for government to intervene and support them economically since they have been driven out of their homes by hunger and the high prices of goods in the market.

A 53 year old man, Alfonse Deri said he has been living on the streets of Juba for almost two years now. Mr. Deri said, “Having lost my wife in 2015, I’m left with children to look after. I went through many hardships such as insults and intimidation from people.”

He said some times he does not get money at all and that, if he’s lucky he gets about 150 SSP in a day, which only caters for food, leaving his children without access to education.

Gune Mary, a disabled beggar said she finds it difficult to move because of her disability. She said unless she uses her wheelchair to facilitate her movement, she won’t be able to move easily. This, Gune said has limited her from getting support.

A young boy of 15 years- whose name cannot be disclosed for anonymity said he dropped out of school due to lack of money for school fees. The boy added that shortage of money has forced him to do shoe polishing business and selling empty plastic bottles, in order to help him generate money for his education. He said some times the money he gets from his business is not enough thus, making him to resort to begging in the streets to enable him raise enough money for his education.

“I don’t rob or steal from people. I only polish shoes and sell empty bottles to get money for school fees.”

However, some traders in and around Juba said the children are a menace that’s why they are calling on the state and the national governments to get them out of the streets of Juba.

Abdullah Hassen, a businessman in Juba said ever since the war broke out in 2013, the number of beggars in the streets of Juba has drastically increased. He called upon the traders to work hand in hand with the government to provide necessary support to the street baggers.

“Most of the street children are aged between five and seventeen, and some of them are not orphans but have chosen to live on the streets instead of staying with their parents or guardians,” Abdullah told Juba Monitor yesterday.

Abdullah appealed to the government, and none governmental organizations (NGOs) to step in and help reduce the staggering number of street beggars in the country.

  By Rose Keji Benjamin

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