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Chiefs Challenged to End Child Marriages

By Yankho Phiri

Kasungu, September 23, Mana:  Senior Chief Lukwa of Kasungu has urged fellow Chiefs around his area to quickly take action against child marriages that have reportedly been high due to Covid-19 induced school break.

He made the call during a donation ceremony of Covid-19 personal protective equipments (PPEs), which Department of National Park and Wildlife made to stakeholders at Linyangwa Primary School.

Lukwa said that since re-opening of schools for some selected classes, has received reports that almost 40 girls in a number of both primary and secondary schools from his area are not reporting for classes because of being married and having pregnancies.

“Re-opening of schools for some classes excited us all knowing that we are making progress, but the news of high drop outs due to early marriages and teenage pregnancies has saddened us,” he observed.

Lukwa urged all the chiefs to join hands and follow up these immature marriages so that the children should go back to school.

District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) for Kasungu, John Washali hailed Senior Chief Lukwa for the call and said that the work of withdrawing girls from marriage was under way at his office.

“We are currently working hard to withdraw and end child marriages, so to address the issue as soon as possible we called a stakeholders meeting and urged them to assist us so that we should redeem the girls before it’s too late,” he said.

Reports of girls getting pregnant and getting married have been all over across the country as one of Covid-19 school closure effect.

According to data from Kasungu District Education Manager (DEM), a total of 560 girls are pregnant and 200 of those are married.

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