Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkumpha 3 of Likoma and Chizumulu Islands has bemoaned early marriages due to unplanned pregnancies among oung Islanders saying the tendency retards development of the society.
T/A Mkumpha 3 made the remarks Sunday 23rd December in Makulawe at Likoma Secondary School football ground where he attended a family planning awareness campaign as the guest of honor under the theme “Having children by choice, not by chance” championed by the Ministry of Health with funding from the United Nations Fund for Population Agency (UNFPA).
Addressing hundreds of the Islanders that assembled at the venue in the area of Group Village Head (GVH) Mpima in Likoma, the T/A cautioned the youngsters on the Island to refrain from indulging themselves into sexual relationships as the misconduct lands them into unfavorable circumstances such as dropping out from school due to unplanned pregnancies
He said: “We don’t need our youths to indulge into sexual pratctices, it’s not yet time for them to start doing such things as they have to wait for the right time.”
The T/A proceeded by advising the youths to refrain from immoral behavior but rather concentrate on hard work and consider education as key to unlock their bright future, adding that, “the prospect will enhance their mindset to positively contribute to the country’s development.”
“I therefore appeal to all youths to refrain indulgences in drugs and substance abuse. There is nothing that you can yield from such behaviors. We want you to be responsible citizens and build your brighter future,” explained Mkumpha.
Also sharing sentiments on the matter, the District Health Officer (DHO) for Likoma Island Mr. Mathews Sibale said youths are among the people who are on the child bearing age and this is why the cases of early marriages are emerging now and then in the district leading to their dropping out from school.
“A good number of youths in the district are now fertile which means they are able to give birth, this is why we are encouraging them to abstain and refrain from sexual relationships and we are also encouraging them to be using some contraceptives if it’s hard to live without.”
He then said they now have introduced youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services where young people have a special day where they meet and share information on how they can plan for their future, the dangers they can meet if they indulge into risky behavior as well as enlightening each other on the support and care they need for good health at the health center.
Meanwhile, T/A Mkumpha 3 has since said that he will work closely with his subordinates to work together and emphasize on the great role the youths have towards their society by empowering their education and formulating some by-laws to penalize youths who will be found on the wrong side of the jurisdiction.