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Govt intends to reduce Child Marriages

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Sastone Silomba

Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Sastone Silomba said Zambia has been implementing the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) pilot project aimed at reducing child marriages in Mpulungu and Chama Districts of Zambia.

Mr Silomba said the two districts were picked due to their high prevalence rate of child marriage which have continued to deny girls their basic fundamental rights.

He said the program which has given girls a chance to be children and to live free from violence and s.e.xual abuses is expected to coming to an end this year.

He said this during the update and review meeting for IBSA pilot programme on reducing child marriages held in Lusaka Today.

Mr Silomba said early child marriages interrupts children’s schooling and denies them the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the development of their communities.

“the IBSA project in tandem with our national strategic on ending child marriages which was developed in march 2016, and the national Plan of action aimed at accelerating national efforts to end child marriage by 2030,” he noted.

He said the pilot project used a curative and preventative approaches in dealing with child marriage whose target was to improve knowledge levels to facilitate positive changes.

And Head of Chancery at the Indian High commission Pushpender Duchania said India has a cordial relationship with Zambia and Malawi in different fields.

“This is the first time that we are a part of an initiative in such a critical area that deals with reducing and eradicating child marriages,” he said.

He said that the IBSA pilot project should push others to further contribute to this sector saying a lot more needs to be done to eradicate child marriages.