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Night Commuters Drop From 29,000 to 4,800

STATISTICS from the 23 night commuter centres in Gulu district indicate that the number of children seeking shelter and security in the town has dropped from 29,000 in 2004 to 4,800 in 2006 due to the prevailing peace in the region.


The Community Services Manager Gulu District, Mr Jimmy Orut made the announcement this while addressing members of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children, who visited Gulu and Pader districts on June 27.

Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children is a non-partisan association of legislators initiated by the 7th Parliament as an advocacy body for children rights.

Jinja woman MP Ruth Tuma led the team.

"There is now need to phase out some of these centres especially the ones in the middle of IDP camps," Orut said.

"We shall, however, need to operate a few centres for children with special needs."

The District Education Officer, Rev. Vinvent Oceng Ocen, said the number of school going children had decreased due to poverty.

He said the number of children who pass PLE exams had declined due to the poor learning environment among others.

Last year only 63 pupils in the district (one girl) passed PLE.

Other reasons include immorality among children, early marriages, defilement and abductions.

On June 20, four pupils from Paminano Primary School, Bungatira sub-county in Aswa County were abducted.

The District Director of Health Services, Dr Paul Onek said 172 out of 1,000 children in Gulu die before one year while 700 out of 100,000 mothers die during delivery due to poor hygiene and living conditions.

He said 60 per cent of the health service centres in the district were not operational due to insecurity.

The MP for Aruu County, Mr Odonga-Otto and Gulu LC5 Chairman Norbert Mao said the childhood of children in northern Uganda had been hijacked by the 20-year insurgency and warned that Uganda was sitting on a "time bomb" because it was raising an arm of disgruntled citizens.

The CAO, Mr Patrick Langoya-Otto, said most NGOs operate within a radius of 10 kilometres from the town.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200607040057.html
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