Lack of birth registration services in Mumbwa upsets stakeholders

Mumbwa Child Development Agency (MCDA) has called on government to decentralize birth registrations to the district level to improve accessibility, cut on time and cost involved to access the birth certificate.

MCDA Programme and Sponsorship Coordinator, Kenneth Ludaka, says currently accessing the birth certification is a challenge to many people especially those from rural communities because the service could only be accessed at the provincial administration center.

Mr. Ludaka said it is frustrating that after creating demand among communities by various stakeholders in Mumbwa district, parents cannot have their children registered because currently the service can only be accessed in Kabwe.

“We have been doing campaigns on birth registrations and communities have the information. But birth registration has remained a challenge and frustrating because the service is not decentralized. For us as a child centered organization this is a big issue,” Mr. Ludaka said.

He said the world is evolving and the birth certificate has become a sacred document that would be required for the young generation to be considered for any opportunity including employment.

He complained that the registration of births is also cumbersome and parents fear sending birth records to the province because they may lose the only vital information they have about the children.

“As a child organization, we are concerned about the cumbersome process of accessing the birth certificates and we would wish the process could be decentralized to district level. The world is changing and these documents will soon be required to be recognized for any opportunity. You would want to stand as a Member of Parliament (MP) or seek employment and the same document will be required,” he said.

Mr. Ludaka was speaking in Mumbwa district during an interactive meeting with some members of the Central Province Nutrition Coordinating Committee (PNCC), Mumbwa District Nutrition Coordinating Committee (DNCC) and other stakeholders implementing various nutrition interventions in the area.

And Senior Village Headperson Chimoto, Shambiwalu, of Shimbizhi area, echoed similar sentiments and said the registration of births in its current form will remain a far-fetched dream.

The traditional leader said government should consider decentralizing the birth registration process and piloting it to districts like Mumbwa.

Mr. Shambiwalu complained that parents in Shimbizhi area fear to release the birth records to the provincial registration office because they end up getting lost in the process leaving them with no document to refer to for their children.

“Government should consider decentralizing the birth registrations and probably pilot it to some districts like Mumbwa. It will surely reduce the cost implication and the time of accessing the document,” the traditional leader said.

Meanwhile, Mumbwa District World Food Programme Officer, Trust Mutinta, said the registration of births is a national issue that must be dealt with squarely.

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