Community Campaign to end Early Marriages(CCEM) Coordinator Amos Kapande has called for maximization of the available social protection programs to curb early marriages.
Father Kapande says there is need for residents to utilise programs such as Social Cash Transfer (SCT), and Food Security Pack (FSP) to address poverty related early marriages.
In an interview with ZANIS, Fr Kapande said that despite household poverty being one of the most widespread factor linked to early marriages, there are various social protection measures such as SCT and FSP aimed at addressing this issue.
He further reasoned that there is need to appreciate that the new dawn government has abolished school fees for primary and secondary levels, which he said households should utilise and ensure that girls access full school education.
“The excuse of not having monies to maintain girl child in school can no longer apply here as Government has abolished school fees, so we can expect more girls to stay in school and not to be married off early “, he commented.
The clergyman also cited the need for heightened sensitization in communities, charging that ignorance and defiance of the law needs to be tackled.
He observed that the situation of rampant early marriages is more chronic in Mkushi Chiefdoms such as Mulungwe, adding that it is even worse in all the six chiefdoms of neighbouring Luano District.
He stressed that there is need for concerted sensitisation from both Governmental as well as Non-Governmental Organisations(NGO).