Causes and Consequences of Streetism among Street Children in Harar City, Ethiopia

Sofiya Endris, Galata Sitota


The purpose of this study was to investigate the life of Harar City street children. In view of that, the following research questions were forwarded; what are the major causes that make children leave their homes for the streets? Do street children use psychoactive substances? What type of psychoactive substance do street children use? Based on these basic questions, descriptive survey design including quantitative and qualitative data gathering approaches were employed. Questionnaires and interviews were thus used to solicit information from 57 street children. The data collected through questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation and frequency whereas the data gathered through interview were analyzed through narration. As the Study revealed, the major causes which forced children to runaway are ranging from escaping abusive parental punishment followed by poverty, hate of step parents to parental alcoholic behavior. Benzene sniffing, smoking, chewing chat, use of plastic are some of the substance abuse street children have commonly used. Even some of them also reported as if they have already begun using marijuana and hashish pretending to stand with hunger and cold. The research also distinguished as there are two types of street children. These categories include the street children who have completely lost touch with their families and relatives and entirely live on the streets and street children who have contact with their families. The study recommends how to properly address street children’s socio-economic and psychological problems. For further studies, it is also recommended that research should be undertaken to explore the role of streetism in psychological wellbeing of street children.


Children, Street-ism, Harar City

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