District Social Welfare Office (DCDO) for Likoma has called for concerted efforts and multisectoral initiative in dealing with child-related abuses currently on the increase on the island district.
District Social Welfare Assistant for Likoma, Christopher Kanaza on Wednesday said the district has, for the past few months, registered over 13 child pregnancy cases and about five cases of child labour.
Kanaza bemoaned the tendency of some parents and guardians who deliberately choose not to report cases of child abuse to either his office or police for redress.
He attributed the increase of the cases to poor coordination between service providers and community members.
Kanaza said his office has since established district child protection cluster to improve coordination and champion children’s rights awareness in the district.
“The challenge is that we do not have a non-governmental organisation working on child protection issues and to make things worse, we cannot manage to address the vice on our own due to inadequate monthly funding in the form of Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT),” said Kanaza.
Commenting on the issue, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust Officer for Likoma, Patrick Chikoti said the district continues to
experience increased unreported child and women abuse cases.
“We will, therefore, be working to complement efforts being under-taken by various stakeholders such as women’s forum, to make sure that there is
conducive environment for children and women for them to be reporting such abuses to relevant authorities,” said Chikoti.