RITA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Emmy Hudson, said here yesterday at a seminar for district officials from Dodoma and Singida regions that 76 per cent of the children have no crucial document.
The percentage of children registered for birth certificates in Tanzania Mainland at birth is below 13 per cent while only 11 percent have birth notification cards, she stated.
The situation is better in the Isles where only 12 percent of all children below five are left out in the formal registration process and are without birth certificates, she said.
“About 76 percent of children below five years in Tanzania are not in the official government registration record. We do not know where they are,” she told the gathering, making introductory remarks at the seminar.
The agency believes that this situation arises from various reasons that hinder many people from getting registered and many do not have birth certificates. To help solve the problem, the government has embarked on a special programme to register children of that age, she said.
Under the programme, some two million children have been issued with birth certificate for those below five years, with Dodoma region registering 9.3 per cent of children born in the region.
Plans are underway to conduct the exercise in Mbeya, Songwe, Mwanza, Njombe, Iringa, Geita, Shinyanga, Lindi, Mtwara, Mara, Simiyu and Singida regions.
The plan seeks to ensure that all children below five years of age are registered and issued with official birth certificates.
Children in rural areas are more affected by less registration with RITA while their counterparts in urban areas have five times chances of getting birth certificates below five years of age.
“Reasons for the few registrations for birth certificates come down to complications at the national and district levels but they have since been solved, as we now conduct registration even on mobile phones,” she pointed out.
On this mode of registration, she elaborated that RITA will establish registration centres at ward and village executive officers for the service.
Speaking at the meeting, Dodoma Regional Commissioner (RC), Dr Binilith Mahenge noted that birth statistics are important in planning for different services, calling on the public to ensure they get children registered on time.