Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) has blamed local leaders, parents and guardians in Nsanje District for failing to eliminate child marriages.
VSO Nsanje district coordinator Innocent Chikwakwa said on Monday that statistics on child marriages in the country show that Nsanje is second highest after Machinga District.
He said the situation is alarming and shows that local leaders, parents and guardians were contributing to the vice.
Chikwakwa said due to the rising cases of child marriages, the VSO launched a one-year project dubbed Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health in the district to curb child marriages.
“The project aimed at engaging the youth, local leaders, parents or guardians so that they can understand the evil of early child marriages,” he said.
Chikwakwa is upbeat that the intervention would have an impact and would also help to reduce cases of school dropout among the female learners.
To show that early marriages in the district exist, Martha Kennedy, who is now in Form Four, said she got pregnant when she was 16.
In an interview, Senior Chief Malemia said it is the responsibility of everyone to end child marriages. n