Kakiri is a rapidly growing town of almost 20,000 inhabitants located in Wakiso District in Central Uganda, just 30 km from the capital Kampala. Most people live off agriculture.
Although it is so close to the capital, the Wakiso District is one of the poorest areas. Recent economic growth has not changed the living conditions for many children who still lack access to health care, education and security.
Children without parental care, girls especially, are extremely vulnerable.
Since 1991, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Kakiri.
While the rate of HIV/AIDS is high all over Uganda, numbers in Wakiso Region are higher than the country average. Children are often hit the hardest because many of them lose parental care due to the disease or are at risk of losing it.
Over 60,000 children in Wakiso have lost one parent, and 20,000 have lost both their parents. As a result, they are usually taken in by their extended family. However, these families often struggle to meet basic needs already, and often cannot cope with extra mouths to feed, let alone provide for their education. There is also a preference for taking in girls, as they can help in the household and marry young.
In recent years, Kakiri’s population has grown immensely, from 6,000 in 2011 to almost 20,000 today. People from all over the country migrate here in the hope of finding work.
At the same time however, Kakikri is among the poorest regions in Uganda. Uncontrolled growth has led to an increase in informal settlements where living conditions are precarious and basic services, such as sewage and running water, and solid waste management in particular, are often not available. Children growing up here are often at risk of getting ill due to poor hygiene. Combined with limited access to healthcare, this can be fatal..