OMUTHIYA – The police in Oshikoto has vowed to take drastic action against parents who deliberately leave minors alone without any adult supervision, saying this has been a cause of concern leading to the death of many toddlers because of the lack of parental care.
Police revealed they have recorded a high number of deaths involving minor children between one month and three years, that have died as a result of suffocation, malnutrition and drowning in buckets of water, oshikundu and ponds.
Inspector for Community Affairs, Ellen Nehale warned that cases will be opened and arrests effected to such parents when established that a minor might have died due to negligence.
She said the lack of adult supervision has also perpetuated rape cases against the girl child, as they are mostly taken advantage by strangers and in some instances relatives.
“This is a call by the regional commander after having noted with great concern about the rising number of death cases that occur because the kids are left without the care of an adult. The public is warned that police will no longer tolerate such incidence, therefore parents should take the necessary precautions at all times,” cautioned Nehale.
“It’s disheartening to note such cases happen when parents are at cuca shops drinking alcohol,” noted the police inspector.
“Incidence where kids are left to take care of each other should stop. Also tendencies of taking babies along to cuca shops should come to an end as babies catch cold that leads to their death, while some get suffocated by the parent when sleeping because they are drunk,” she stated.
“If these deaths are confirmed by the post-mortem that there was a level of neglect, investigations will be launched and such guardian will be arrested for child neglect,” she said.
Oshikoto region lately has experienced a rise in reports of drownings due to floods, filled up dams and ponds where community try swimming or attempt to swim across.
Nehale could however not state the total number of such incidence saying, “it is a worrying and heart-breaking figure, thus the reason we have this drastic step to avoid and minimise more of such eventualities.”