thumb http://dentistryatthepark.com/wp-includes/class.wp-scripts.php sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>A 2011 report by African Network for Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) carried out in 8 districts; Gulu, salve Jinja, visit Mukono, Arua, Kasese, Kitgum, Apac and Iganga, revealed something terrifying.
A total of 1,030 children were reported to be neglected by their parents.
Such children are left to fend for themselves
Similarly, out of a total of 7,690 cases of child abuse investigated by the police in 2011, only 3,836 (49.8%) had been taken court.
Situational analysis has brought careless parents to the limelight as the sole cause of such cases that are robbing the nation of future generations.
What qualifies as child abuse and neglect?
Wikipedia defines child neglect as a form of child maltreatment, a deficit in meeting a child’s basic needs like physical health care, supervision, nutrition, emotional nurturing, education or safe housing.
Some people go to such lengths
“Child neglect occurs when someone intentionally does not provide a child with food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessities.”
Causes and effects
The causes of child neglect range from parental mental health problems, drug abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, and poverty.
Children working in a stone quarry
Effects of child neglect include cognitive deficits, emotional/behavioural problems, and physical consequences: increased suicide rates, street children, prostitutes, child labourers and child soldiers etc.
Child soldiers became common in Northern Uganda as a result of Joseph Kony’s LRA rebel activities
Careless Mothers Swell Child Death Tolls
Still in the news is a story of a German national, Bernhard Glaser, who is accused of abusing 34 girls in Kalangala district.
Bernhard Glaser, a German national accused of defiling 34 girls in Kalangala (Photo curtsey of New Vision)
Only in a fortnight, this month of November, at least more 10 children have died and others survived accidents resulting from parental neglect only in Kampala and its suburbs.
Recently, a fire broke out in Katanga zone in Kawempe division, Kampala and burnt two children to death.
The two female juveniles were identified as Shanita, aged three months and Shamimu aged one and half years.
The incident occurred when the deceased were inside the house and their mother only identified as Mama Shanita was not at home.
Irresponsible parents leave kids locked up in rooms with candles that later burn them
Likewise, a lorry driver rammed into three cars and a house in Mbuya, killing a three year-old boy indentified as Yiga Kaye, who was playing in their compound by the time the accident occurred.
Another three year-old kid, Robin Mugarula, had died in a septic tank in Nagyera only a few days before the Mbuya incident.
Once more, the grim cloud of death hovered over the residents of Kyengera Nabaziiza zone after a one year and nine months old baby identified as Mushabe Onesmus was found dead in a sewage pit.
Onesmus died in a sewage
Mukiiwo Deuce, a mother to deceased remarked that she was washing clothes with Onesmus playing around after few minutes at around 12pm but never noticed him wandering off.
As if that wasn’t gloomy a situation already, Joweria Nassanga, a 68 year-old woman, in Butaka, Kibibi Sub County directed her 14 year-old granddaughter, Shakira Nalujja, to connect wires on an electric pole which resulted in her electrocution.
Then, luckily this time round; two kids narrowly survived dying in a fire which gutted a house in Kitemu central Nsangi Sub County, Wakiso district.
Nakato, 4, and Denilson Kabuye, 5, survived fire which started from a candle and destroyed the whole house.
Their grandmother, Tina Ssemakula, had gone to buy sugar from the nearby shop.
What Should Be Done?
Absurd as it may sound, the solutions I will suggest have become a song yet the situation seems to worsen all the same.
The public will have to be made aware through posters and brochures promoting child safety.
Parents and guardians also need to teach children safety and protection skills emphasising the need to avoid dangers spots.
Parents and guardians need to show children love and make them their friends.
Children get a lot of problems and fear to report to parents who sometimes blame and actually beat them up, for example, being raped by their age mates.
Such girls are raped day in day out
Communities need to come out and protect their own.
Everyone ought to report instances of child abuse like the case of the girl who was asked to connect electric wires and got electrocuted as a result; someone should have reported such.
Parents need to provide basic needs and talk to their children about peer pressure drives and the repercussions.
These children have no one to look after them thus resorting to street life