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Kidero allows street families back to city centre after Obama’s departure

Street families who had been rounded up and locked at a rehabilitation centre have been allowed to leave the facility at their will.

And most of them are back to their usual hideouts in the city centre where they had been flushed out before last week’s arrival of US President Barack Obama.

The families – mainly the grownup street boys – had been rounded up by the National Youth Service personnel and City County askaris more than a week ago, bundled in vehicles and locked at Joseph Kang’ethe Community Centre in Woodley Estate.

The centre is owned by Nairobi County Government.

On Monday, the community centre was almost empty after the street boys were allowed to leave.

“We only have a few of those who volunteered to stay with us and enjoy free food and accommodation,” one of the workers said.

He said those who agreed to stay at the facility are the individuals whose health has been declining and cannot withstand the cold July weather being felt in Nairobi.

“Some have been wearied out after taking hard drugs and lethal brews that they can hardly walk, leave alone do casual jobs,” the worker said.

On Monday, there were less than 20 street boys at the centre and some of them appeared too weak to walk by themselves.

Since the boys were locked in at the centre, City askaris have been guarding the place for 24-hours to prevent them from escaping.

They were not even allowed to venture outside a hall where they have been confined.

They only gained freedom after President Obama left the country.