Chadiza and Petauke districts still tops in child marriages
By Staff Reporter
Chadiza district still has the highest number of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country followed by Petauke district.
This came to light during the on-going exercise of formulating chiefdom by-laws on ending child marriage and teen pregnancies in the five chiefdoms of Petauke district in Eastern Province.
Chadiza District Commissioner, George Phiri, who was in the company of his counterpart from Petauke, Velenasi Moyo and authorities from Plan International and other government officials, said Chadiza records about 60 cases of teen pregnancies per quarter and many of them resulted into child marriages.
“Most teen pregnancies are reported from school going pupils. The statistics show that the district has the highest number of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country,” said Phiri
Meanwhile, Petauke District Commissioner, Velenasi Banda Moyo said the situation in Chadiza was not different from Petauke, making the district rank second highest in terms of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country.
The duo has since called for concerted efforts from government and traditional leaders with stake holders like plan international to come up with stiff punishment for perpetrators of child marriage and teen pregnancies in order to curb the vice.
Plan International Zambia “Yes I Do” Program Coordinator, Armitage Mweetwa said his organization had engaged traditional leaders and members of the community in Petauke and Chadiza districts to come up with proposed chiefdom by-laws that will assist in ending child marriages.