Friday, August 28, 2015

Zimbabwe: Red Cross Tightens Child Tracking Systems:

The Red Cross Society has introduced tagging systems at every entry point at the ongoing Harare Agricultural show as it steps up efforts to prevent child losses.

Every child is getting a wrist tag on which the name of the parent or guardian and their contact details are written and will be used to track them in the event the child goes missing.In an interview, Red Cross disaster management officer Mr Hope Munyari said the child tracking initiative was the best alternative to ensure children's safety during the show days. "We have designed wrist tags, which have the name of the parent or guardian and their contacts, useful for contacting them in the event that the child is lost. The method is secure since the wrist tag cannot be easily removed. Children below 13 years are our target," he said.

Mr Munyari believes that the initiative would reduce cases of missing children during the show days especially after the tragic incident involving Gift Matapure, who went missing within the Show-grounds. "We urge the public and parents at large to ensure that any child below 13 years is tagged for easy identification in case of missing reports," he said.

Since the Agricultural Show began on Monday, Red Cross had tagged over 2 000 children. "The first two days of the show have a low turnout, but we have already tagged more than 2 000 children and we are happy the exercise is taking shape." Mr Munyari also urged parents and guardians to co-operate with the exercise as it was in their best interest. "Some parents are refusing to have their children tagged, which is not ideal as the grounds are overcrowded with high chances of their offspring going missing.

"During last year's exhibitions, over 100 children were reported missing, but with the help of the Red Cross authorities and this tracking system, we quickly reunited them with their guardians," said Mr Munyari.

Last year 35 000 children were tagged.

By Samantha Chigogo




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