HIGH incidences of child, early and forced marriages in Mumbwa district are threatening, World Vision (WVZ) Zambia cluster programme manager for Mumbwa Wilfred Mufwambi has said.
Mr Mufwambi said in an interview in Mumbwa recently that the situation in the district in terms of early marriages is not good. The biggest problem we have is that early marriages are driven by cultural beliefs.
He said it is unfortunate that some parents and guardians arrange for marriage even when the girl child is still in school.
“We have had a case where we had to intervene. The child, who was in Grade eight, was married off, fortunately WVZ came in to rescue the girl. The numbers of early marriages in the district are threating. There are many cases we have not even come across,” Mr Mufwambi said.
He said there is urgent need for stakeholders to carry out a serious census on incidences of early marriages in Mumbwa as most cases go unreported.
Mr Mufwambi said: “For example, we have had months where more than 40 cases are reported, the lowest reported cases would be around 15, but still this number is high. Imagine the implication if we carry out a district census on incidences of early marriages. The increase is also due to gender-based violence.”
“One cannot understand why child, early and forced marriages are occurring at alarming levels in Mumbwa. The problem is that people use poverty as a scapegoat to marry off their girl children. It is unfortunate that girl children are sometimes married off for parents or guardians to improve their livelihoods,” Mr Mufwambi said.