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THERE are many cases of child marriages that take place in Nakonde district and other parts of Zambia without the knowledge of relevant authorities. This vice has forced many girls to drop out of school.

NGOs slammed over pregnancy pills

CHIEFTAINESS Waitwika of the Namwanga people in Nakonde district in Muchinga Province has asked non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to revisit the administration of contraceptives to schoolgirls in the name of preventing unwanted pregnancies as it is contributing to moral decay in the country.

She said in an interview yesterday that a number of unmarried girls in her chiefdom are on long-acting contraceptives provided by some NGOs which have made them to indulge in sex.

“I have noticed that girls, especially those who got pregnant but went back to school after delivery, are put on contraceptives to prevent them from conceiving again. I feel this is just promoting immorality,” Chieftainess Waitwika said.
She said some of girls who started taking contraceptives from childhood have complained of difficulties to conceive when they get married.
Chieftainess Waitwika said it is unfortunate that most girls are no longer scared of engaging in sex.
“Some girls are given everything by their parents but you tend to wonder why they still go out to sleep around for money and sometimes just pleasure,” she said.
Chieftainess Waitwika said the best way to help girls is to continue offering them counsel on the importance of living a morally upright life instead of shielding them by providing contraceptives which are better off being used by married people and adults.
She said discouraging early marriages is working out by way of giving people correct information.
“Some people are finding it difficult to move away from marrying off children early because it has been a tradition from way back. So, we have started punishing parents who marry off their daughters early and we also get back those girls into school and good results are being achieved,” Chieftainess Waitwika said.