CHILD protection experts estimate that the total number of street children in the Greater Accra Region alone hovers around 90,000.
A document, titled ‘Census on Street Children in the Greater Accra Region’, made available to The Finder revealed that there were 61,492 street children in the Greater Accra Region as at 2011.
In 2012, an additional 24,000 street children were also identified in the Greater Accra Region.
The 2011 document revealed that girls, some younger than 10 years, constitute 36,280 of the total number of street children in the Greater Accra Region.
This figure represents 59% of the total number of 61,492 street children loitering about on the streets of Greater Accra.
The document revealed that the ages of the street children were between 10 and 18 years, with some being younger than 10 years.
The census covered Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region.
In the Accra Metropolitan area, 50,997 children were counted; in Madina in the Ga East Municipal area, 1,757 children were counted.
Five thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight (5,768) children were counted in the Ashaiman and Nungua municipalities and the Tema Metropolitan area while 939 children were counted in Amasaman in the Ga West Municipal area.
Two thousand and thirty-one (2,031) children were also counted in the Dangbe West District.
According to the document, the census covered age distribution, gender, categories of street children, sleeping places at night, and the types of jobs done on the streets.
It indicated that 28.5% of the children were from the Northern Region, 19.8% from Greater Accra; 10.2% from Volta; 7.5% from Upper East; 7.3% from Ashanti.
The rest are Central Region, 6%; Upper West, 4.5%; Brong Ahafo, 2.9%; and Western, 2.4%; foreign nationals accounted for about 3%.
According to the document, the search for money was the main reason for children being on the streets, accounting for 87%.
The search for jobs, impact of divorce and death of parents were the other reasons.
The document identified malaria, fever, cold, rashes, headache and infections as some of the major diseases affecting street children.
The document noted that it was imperative for government to extend support to poor families with children on the streets through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme.
It also recommended that government support the department of social welfare to carry out its mandate while giving equal attention to the development of all parts of the country in order to deal with the issue of rural-urban migration.