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“Most homeless people are men”, report shows

“Most homeless people are men”, report shows
  • PublishedJuly 11, 2024

Annually, Kenya joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Population Day, celebrated every 11th of July. This year, it falls on a Thursday.

The main goal of marking the day is to raise awareness about the impact of population on the world and nature and to promote sustainable choices to mitigate adverse effects. The theme of this year’s World Population Day is “Leave No One Behind, Count Everyone.”

According to the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census, the female population in Kenya was 50.31 percent compared to 49.69 percent male population. For children aged 0-18 years, boys constituted 50.47 percent compared to 49.53 percent for girls.

Additionally, at least 20,095 Kenyans are homeless, with the majority being men, as shown in the 2019 census. A recent report by the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) reveals that men make up more than half of the homeless population in Kenya.

Homelessness in Kenya is a complex issue affecting thousands across the country, with causes including poverty, unemployment, and displacement due to conflict or natural disasters.

“Homelessness is often considered both a sign and cause of poverty and social exclusion. The main issues affecting this segment of the population are lack of residence, poverty, health, education, and social integration,” stated NCPD Director-General Mohamed Sheikh.

The Kenyan government estimates there are over 500,000 homeless people, primarily in urban areas. Speaking during the report launch in Nairobi, Dr. Sheikh urged the government to “explore effective measures for settling homeless persons.”

The NCPD report, highlighted in Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on Kenya National Population Policy for Sustainable Development, indicates that out of 10 homeless people, eight are men. According to the Fifth Sessional Paper, men constitute 80 percent of the homeless population, with 42 individuals out of every 100,000 being homeless.

Men also rank highly among other vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities and total orphans. In terms of homelessness, men are followed by children aged five years.

The report lists vulnerability to poor health, insecurity, and poor access to social amenities as the main concerns facing the destitute in the country.

Moreover, the number of homeless people in Kenya has nearly doubled over the past five years. The 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census enumerated 20,101 homeless people, which is less than 1 percent of the total population.

Currently, 46,639 Kenyans are living on the streets, with Nairobi County having the highest number at 15,337. Other counties with large homeless populations include Mombasa (7,529), Kisumu (2,746), Uasin Gishu (2,147),and Nakuru (2,005).

Written By
jackson Ngari