Civil Society Organisations Network (CSON) has appealed to government to have district child officers in councils to handle issues affecting children.
The network chairperson Teckson Amadu said this in Mzimba on Saturday during a child protection stakeholders’ meeting organised with funding from Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).
He said the network faces challenges in implementing child protection initiatives due to low funding towards children welfare in the district.
Said Amadu: “Imagine, the district social welfare office gets K200 000 a month from central government for services meant for the elderly, persons with disability and children. The office is failing to follow up child abuse cases due to low funding.”
He then suggested the creation of positions of district children officers in district councils as is the case with district gender officers.
On his part, Mzimba district commissioner Emmanuel Bambe said due to inadequate funding, the social welfare office operations and service delivery are affected.
He said both national and district budgets are not child-friendly; hence, the need to advocate for increased funding towards child protection interventions.
“Children have a voice but they are not heard. We need to be developing child-friendly budgets which can contribute to effective implementation of child-related activities,” Bambe said.
The district commissioner also welcomed the suggestion of district child officers, saying the development will enhance coordination and funding allocation towards child protection interventions.
Mzimba district social welfare officer Bernard Nangwale said his office is failing to meet people’s expectations as the district has six child protection workers on government payroll while 25 are volunteers.