Close to 30 cases of missing children are reported every day in Kenya as parents struggle with the fact that their children can disappear without a trace at any moment.
These criminals use luring tactics to persuade the children who unknowingly fall into the perpetrators scheme.
According to the Missing Child Kenya (MCK) Executive Director Maryana Munyendo, missing child cases are prone in crowded areas noting that the perpetrators use the element of surprise to hatch their scheme.
Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at places which children are likely to be kidnapped in Kenya:
Malls and supermarkets
These areas are prone to many parents losing their children as they carry out their shopping activities.
Parents may either be busy shopping for various items so much so that their child wanders away to different sections within the supermarkets, creating a chance for the perpetrators to strike.
It is not uncommon to hear announcements being made by supermarket on the loudspeaker of a lost child.
Such cases are also prevalent due to the increasing number of people who shop and also attributed to the lean spaces within the sections of the supermarket thus makes it an easy target for criminal gangs.
Churches, known for hosting a huge congregation, are also prone to such incidents. With praise and worship segments that turns the atmosphere into a frenzy as well as the prayer hour which presents an intimate time for the congregants to close their eyes and have a moment with their maker.
Parents often don’t realize that their children are missing until when the summon is over, which may be a little bit too late. This has been seen in various cases with parents seeking help from the other congregants to aid in finding their children.
Many families prefer to enjoy a nice meal at local eateries and restaurants especially during the weekends. This leads to crowding in these well known restaurants as some also rush to secure seats.
Children, if not taken care of, can wander off and in the spirit of making new friends become a target for the kidnappers.
Bus stations/Matatu stages
The matatu stages and bus stations have been known for their recklessness and chaotic environment. This presents an opportune moment for these kidnappers as children are easily snatched away from unsuspecting parents who are busy trying to board a vehicle.
Another recent case saw a troubled father lose his daughter on August 6, in Nairobi CBD. The father believes that his daughter was abducted and is being held against her will. The girl is yet to be found.
Parents are advised to always report suspected kidnapping cases to a police station as soon as their child disappears. They should provide vital information about the child such as a clear and recent picture, name (including nicknames) of the child, age and gender of child
Any distinguishing marks such as birthmarks and scars could also prove helpful to the detectives.
Creating awareness in your neighbourhood by placing posters and posting on various social media platforms or websites about your missing child could also lead to your child being ultimately found.