Dodoma leads in production of street children
By Lydia Shekighenda
Dodoma has been ranked number one in producing street children in the country when compared to other regions, a survey reveals.
Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, the Chairperson for Tanzania Street Children Organisation (TSCO), Shamsa Mohamed, said a one-year research conducted in five regions found out that many street children come from Dodoma Mjini District.
Mohamed said Coast Region comes second followed by Singida, Morogoro and Dar es Salaam.
’’After getting such results, we decided to talk to the people of that area so that we could know the causes which contributed to such a situation,’’ she said.
She said one of the causes is poverty which makes the majority of the parents fail to meet the needs of their children as a result, they run away from homes.
She added: ’’Another reason is the arid conditions of the area which make agricultural activities difficult, as well as shortage of water.’’
Mohamed further explained that child abuse, especially to girls is rampant the area, girls get married while young and when pregnant, some of the husbands escape from their wives as a result they fail to take care of the kid(s) when born.
She, however, said lack of access and skills to family planning has made most of the parents have many children hence fail to meet their needs.
She also said some of the fathers abandon their families especially when there is shortage of food on pretext that they go to towns to look for jobs.
She explained that through discussions with local people they found out that parents do not report anywhere whenever the children disappear from home.
’’Street children are not only orphans but also those who ran away due to poverty, broken marriages, and child abuse,’’ she said.
She said before 1988, there were no such a thing as street children as there were only people with disabilities who needed help.
She said there is a need for the government and the entire community to establish strategies which could help to reduce the number of street children in our urban areas.
- SOURCE: Guardian