A survey conducted by Kachila Youth Centre in Malawi’s uranium town of Karonga has revealed that at least twenty nine girls got pregnant in the lakeshore district, forcing them to drop out of school.
Karonga, which has registered substantive urbanization following escapades at the Kayerekela Mine, borders with Tanzania and is a thriving business centres – with many parents and guardians using their wards for a hand in their business endeavours.
Ironically, the 29 girls pregnant are all from the villages of Mwahimba and Mweniyumba – both not far from the perimeters of Karonga town proper. They are both between the ages of 13 and 16.
Kachila Youth Centre executive director Matchona Ngwira said in an interview with Nyasa Times that the development was depressing.
“It is not healthy at all for the country,” said Ngwira.
Ngwira swore on a stack of bibles that, if continued, the situation would let Malawi continue wallowing in deplorable poverty levels.
“The 29 are just from two villages,” he said. “It means that a lot worse could be happening in the other villages.”
He urged all civil societies in the country to take a leading role in making sure that such statistics are available so that government and interested stakeholders can slot in their help.
Ngwira also poured venom on parents and guardians for carelessness on safeguarding their children – especially girl children.
“It is not safe to use teenaged children for business, let alone girls. Parents should desist from doing that,” he said.