Chief Chisunka of the Ushi people in Luapula province has regretted the cases of early marriages which have stormed his chiefdom.
The traditional leader noted that his chiefdom had not experienced cases of early marriages for some time but attributed the mushrooming of the vice now, to lack of access to education by most children.
He told ZANIS in Lusaka in a telephone interview that school fees especially for secondary school pupils is too high which parents cannot afford hence the dropping out of school by most children.
Chief Chisunka added that in as much as he may try to put an end to early marriages even by retrieving girls from their marriages, the move cannot be successful as their parents cannot send them back to school due to the poor conditions they live in.
Chief Chisunka however noted that despite the situation, village headmen are working tirelessly in sensitising the community against early marriages.
The Chief further explained that he has on many occasions requested for aid from the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health but the response has been negative.
The traditional leader has since called on government to prioritise empowering communities at grass root level to enable them have access to education as they implement projects from the funds realised from the removal of subsidies.
He also appealed to government to consider constructing a secondary school near his Chiefdom to enable most children have access to that level of education within vicinity.
Meanwhile, Chief Chisunka has indicated that cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) are not common in his chiefdom at the moment.
He said this is due to the sensitisation that is been conducted in his area by Plan International which is a Non -Governmental Organisation (NGO) and the Victim Support Unit (VSU).