The police has called on parents to always keep a close eye on their children, especially when they live near water, to avoid drowning accidents.
The call comes in a wake of two incidents involving children who drowned in Western Province.
In Rusizi District, a three-year-old boy drowned in Ruhwe river while in Nyamasheke, an eight-year-old boy drowned in Lake Kivu.
Reacting to the incidents, the Western Region police spokesman chief inspector of police Theobard Kanamugire urged parents to always watch their children.
“Drowning takes only minutes. Ensuring children’s safety near water is in general a community responsibility,” he said.
He advised that constant and capable adult supervision is critical for all children, and pointed out that education on water safety is paramount.
He noted that constant visual supervision of children in and around water is absolutely necessary
“We recommend that caregivers never leave a child alone near a water body,” Kanamugire said. “There is a need for a multi-layered approach. Communities living around water bodies should assign a Water Watcher in settings where it is difficult for a parent to maintain constant visual supervision so that there is at least one adult whose sole responsibility is to watch children in the water, either chasing them or supervising them.”