Central Province Permanent Secretary, Milner Mwanakampwe, has expressed worry over the mushrooming of bars and taverns in Kabwe.
Speaking during the adolescent’s health indaba held over the weekend, Mr Mwanakampwe observed that most of the shanty compounds in the district have more bars and taverns than they have recreation facilities.
He says it is worrisome that most of the adolescents are found patrolling these premises and engaging in illicit activities like beer drinking, drug abuse and sexual activities.
Mr Mwanakampwe has since called on the local authority to take charge and get rid of certain unauthorized businesses that might injure the well-being of youths in the district.
He said the local authority should channel its efforts to enhance the youth resource centres and public libraries which the adolescents can use to learn various skills and enhance their knowledge levels.
The PS has challenged adolescents to take responsibility for their lives and avoid activities that may distract them from advancing their goals.
He said for a long time, adolescents have cried for the availability of youth recreation centres yet none of them takes advantage of the already-existing resource centres in Kabwe.
“As you can see, the government is already doing its part in safeguarding your interests through various empowerment programmes such as this Indaba and opportunities in the Constituency Development Funds (CDF). But what are you doing to reciprocate the support?” he asked.
He further called on the adolescents to feel free to interact with his office saying that will help the government to effectively address their needs.
Mr Mwanakampwe said his office has an open-door policy where youths can go and make viable contributions and suggestions as well as raise concerns on issues that affect them.
He said it is the desire of the government to see adolescents and youths in the country thriving economically and that he will do everything possible in his capacity as PS to ensure that the young people are helped.
“A platform has already been set for our adolescents to express themselves and we need to support their talents and skills if we are to have a better Zambia and better future leaders,” he stated.