Local leaders living along the Malawi-Mozambique border line in Phalombe say they are on high alert to ensure that the girl child should not drop out of school and get married owing to the devastating effects of cyclone Freddy.
Group Village Head Mapondo has told Zodiak Online Sunday that the effects of the natural disaster has exposed most girls which will likely lead to increase in child marriages if local leaders fail to take a leading role in protecting them.
Mapondo said local leaders have tipped community policing forum members in their respective areas to ensure that no child is forced into marriage, adding those found facilitating marriages will face the full force of the law.
“We want to warn uncles and parents on the dangers of forcing children into marriages that things have completely changed. Once found on the wrong side of the law you will be sent to jail,” said GVH Mapondo.
She, however, appealed to well-wishers and non- governmental organizations to assist learners affected by Cyclone Freddy with school materials such as uniform and exercise books.
Mapondo disclosed this when a local organization, Point of Progress (POP) engaged stakeholders to map the forward in its quest to ensure that children are not getting married.
Meanwhile, Point of Progress Project Officer for Girls Get Equal in Phalombe, Gibson Banda, said his organization will support some learners with school uniforms and other learning materials.
Banda has since commended chiefs for supporting the project adding it is registering tremendous results due to chief’s commitment.
Point of Progress is implementing the project in three districts of Mulanje, Lilongwe and Phalombe with funding from Plan Malawi.