A chief in Phalombe has said early marriages is a huge reason people cut trees in the district.
Speaking at an interface meeting organised by Holy Family Mission Hospital, Group Village Headwoman Kuchombe said most of the youths who marry early in her area cut trees for charcoal burning and firewood because they do not have other sources of getting money.
“Due to lack of youth clubs here, teenage pregnancies are increasing and young people are going into early marriages and as a result they are destroying our mountains since they have nothing to do.
“We want youth clubs here so that our children should be learning a lot of issues on how they can progress in life, avoid early marriages and boys should avoid drinking midori (spirits),”said Kuchombe.
Youth friendly health services coordinator at Holy Family Mission Hospital Erick Manjolo said the interfaces were conducted so that the youths should remind each other the roles and responsibilities they have on issues of youth friendly health services as well as environmental issues that are affecting the areas surrounding our hospital.
He added that youths should not be afraid of going to the hospital to seek medical help since nowadays there are special rooms at any hospital where they can interact freely with their fellow youths who are medical personnel.
On his part, Phalombe District Youth Officer McNeil Shire promised that his office will help the youths in the area to form youth clubs and also impart them with knowledge on how they can run these clubs.
Phalombe is one of the districts where most of the girls get into marriage under the age of 18.