East PS urges early marriage fight
Chipata, October 16, 2014, ZANIS… Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga has called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to reduce early marriages in communities.
Dr Mulenga stated that the problem of early marriages was deep rooted because of certain cultural backgrounds hence the need for commitment from all social partners to reduce the practice.
He was speaking when a delegation of the Students Union from the University of Helsinki in Finland paid a courtesy call on him this morning.
Dr Mulenga said with concerted efforts confrontational issues regarding the welfare of girl children are now receiving attention unlike before when such incidences were rarely attended to even by the Police Victim Support Unit.
“But with sensitization we have began getting results and more reports are availed with regard to defilement, we should not give up but forge ahead and ensure the vices are reduced,” he said.
Dr Mulenga also said with economic breakdowns experienced in the country for a long time some parents view education as something which does not pay.
He said organizations coming on board to look at the welfare of children should be commended and urged them to work with government line ministries for better results.
And Student Union of the University of Helsinki Development Coordinator Llona Kalliola said her organization was working with the Eastern Province Women Association (EPWA) targeting young people in communities dealing with matters of sexual productive health, teen pregnancies, school drop-outs and early marriages.
She stated that the programme is conducted in three districts namely Mambwe, Chadiza and Nyimba adding that 80 community members have so far been trained in drama which will be used for sensitization programmes.
She stated that the organization intends to engage traditional leaders in 2015 as a way of scaling up the programme to reduce the vices that trample on the welfare of girl children to lead a meaningful life.