By Zenak Matekenya
Mzuzu, December 21, Mana: Winrock International has trained twenty Mzimba District Child Labour Committee (DCLC) members on child labour prevention and response against the vice whose rate of prevalence nationally is pegged at 38 per cent, according to 2015 National Child Labour Survey.
The three-day trainer of trainers (TOT) which ended Friday in Mzuzu comes ahead of rolling out of a project dubbed Achieving Reduction of Child Labour in Support of Education (Arise) in Mzimba North which aims to promote primary education and formulate child labour structures at grassroots.
The TOT focused on child rights treaties, laws, child labour mainstreaming and resource mobilization among others.
Speaking on behalf of M’mbelwa District Council Director of Planning and Development, Mzimba South District Social Welfare Officer, Bernard Nangwale said child labour is rampant in the district due to presence of tobacco estates.
He also bemoaned exportation of child labour through child trafficking to Zambia which borders the district.
Mzimba North District Labour Officer, Veronica Ndovi, expressed optimism in the Arise Project, saying it would help combat child labour in Mzimba.
She said the project’s interventions complement the district’s development plan in addressing the issue.
Arise African Regional Coordinator, Dalitso Baloyi, said factors contributing to poor education standards such as long distances, inadequate teachers and infrastructure also promote school dropout, which leads to child labour.
He further mentioned food insecurity as another common child labour trigger.
Winrock International official, Ludoviko Matiyasi said Arise Project was pioneered in Ntcheu, Lilongwe and Dowa and has expanded to Mzimba and Mchinji among other tobacco-growing districts because of the positive impact in the initial phases.
He said the project is implemented in Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Brazil with funding from Japan Tobacco International (JTI).