The West Nile Policing Region will soon have a fully-fledged juvenile and Gender Based Violence (GBV) reception centre thanks to an intervention by Save the Children, a humanitarian service organisation that champions the rights and interests of children worldwide.
The facility worth over 190 million Shillings will be constructed at the Arua Central Police Station. It is expected to offer temporary shelter and protection for children who run away from their homes due to abuse, abandoned children, missing children, juvenile offenders, and Victims of Gender-Based Violence within the West Nile Region, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
Previously, children, who either ran away from their homes or missing, were kept in the homes of officers at the Child and Family Protection Unit in Arua. In other situations, such children would sleep in the corridors, old motor vehicles and verandahs within the police station, which exposed them to risks.
Eddie Sserunjogi, the Regional Police Commander for West Nile explains that once completed, the facility will go a long way in relieving the Child and Family Protection Unit from the hurdles of keeping stranded children and GBV survivors.
According to the contract document, the construction is estimated to be completed in four months.
Josephine Angucia, the West Nile Region police spokesperson says the construction of a reception centre is a welcome and timely development. According to Angucia, the Child and Family Protection Unit has been overwhelmed with child abuse and Gender-based violence cases since the start of this year.
Charity Eyoru, the project manager at Save the Children believes that the facility will equally serve as a centre for children who are faced with other protection issues in the community.
The facility is expected to have separate Juvenile cells for girls and boys, a private interview room for GBV survivors and a room for keeping lost and found children.