Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people has called on stakeholders to put in place interventions to help fight early marriages.
He observed that young people, especially school dropouts, enter into early marriages because there are no interventions that has been put in place to keep them busy until they are old enough to marry.
The traditional leader stated that this lack of interventions such as the provision of social amenities to keep children busy is what has contributed to high rates of child marriages.
He says there is a need to make children especially the girl child busy and keep them away from other bad vices.
“If we say they need to marry (be married) at 21 years. Now the question is what will someone who has dropped school in grade 7 will be doing for 8 years in society without amenities”? he asked.
The paramount Chief said this when Northern Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Mpundu who led a team from the Natwampane Prevent Sexual and Gender Based Violence paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Mungwi.
He has since emphasised the need to put in place interventions to fight the scourge.
And Northern Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Mpundu explained that government has developed initiatives to keep children longer in schools.
He cited the introduction of free education as one of the interventions to enable all learners to be in school.
Mr Mpundu added that government has also introduced skills bursaries for everyone including those who have dropped out of school to acquire life skills.
He said government also increased the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to help address such challenges.