Urban life and street children's health: Children's accounts of urban hardships and violence in Tanzania

Joe Lugalla, The Aga Khan University
Colleta Kibassa, UNICEF

This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


The authors examine the dynamics of urban life and street children's health in the era of globalization and structural adjustments in Tanzania. They discuss the factors that push children out of their homes, how the children survive in streets, the hardships and violence they endure and how this affects their health. They argue that the impact of the legacy of colonial policies and some post-colonial development policies, the negative consequences of uncontrolled process of globalization, the impact of structural adjustments and the HIV/AIDS epidemic are simultaneously intensifying the situation of poverty in Tanzania. These processes are not only destroying families and communities that have for many years acted as safety nets for children in need, but are also manufacturing poor, helpless and powerless children most of whom resort to street life.