The closure of schools following the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic outbreak has forced some children to venture into vending in Nkhata Bay District.
One of the children found selling groundnuts at Nkhata Bay Boma Market, Susan Mwale, 14, said since schools closed due to Covid-19, she had nothing to do at home.
“School kept me busy and I didn’t have time to think about selling groundnuts in the streets,” she said.
Another student, a 13-year-old Chimwemwe Phiri (not real name) sells boiled eggs at the boma and he echoed Mwale’s sentiments that business was keeping him busy.
“I was bored just staying home. So, I started selling eggs to help my parents generate income and keep myself busy,” he said.
In an interview, Nkhata Police Station spokesperson Kondwani James said sending children to sell commodities was illegal.
“I warn parents and guardians to stop sending children to the streets to sell commodities,” he said.
James advised parents and guardians to take care of their children instead of turning them into street vendors.
The district has seen a rise in the number of children selling commodities since the closure of schools on March 22 this year following President Peter Mutharika’s declaration of a State of National Disaster on March 20.