Most children get excited when it rains. They like playing in the rain while singing the famous song; Mvua njoo, Katarina usije, literary meaning come rain without the storm.
When singing this childhood song, children usually form a circle where they play and jump around in the rain.
The song and the play mean that children love rain but hate storms. However, as much as children like playing in the rain, they on the other hand hate it because they are forced to put play on hold due to wet weather.
Unfavourable weather, muddy roads and even flooding pose a great risk to children. For example, some children were reported to have lost their lives due to floods caused by the recent rains in Dar es Salaam and upcountry.
Some schools even remained closed for pupils’ safety. Speaking to Young Citizen, some teachers and parents offered advice on the best ways children can stay safe during the rains.
James Bitesigirwe, the head teacher of Kibangu English Medium Nursery and Primary School says during the rainy season, both parents and teachers play the same role to make sure children are safe.
“We normally advise parents not to send children out. For us teachers we facilitate a friendly learning environment as well as security for our pupils,” he adds.
Bitesigirwe advises against letting children who live in flood-prone areas to go to school on their own. Parents should accompany them if need be.
Executive Director of Tai Tanzania, an non-governmental organisation that encourages positive behaviour among young people, Ian Tarimo, advises pupils to follow instructions they are given by both parents and their teachers.
“The season is not good for them to play in the rain. They should be more cautious at night as it is hard to see the flood dangers. For those who are out of school, they should stay in the house and avoid playing in the rain. They should not try to pass in areas with moving water,” he cautions.
Laura Swai, a mother, advises children to never cross anywhere where there is a lot of water.