Neno Children's Parliament Hails Duty Bearers

Parliament underway Parliament underway - pic by Thokozile Makawa

At an Interface between the Neno Children's Parliamentarians and Neno District Council duty bearers, the young parliamentarians have expressed gratitude to the council on positive strides made so far in answering their resolutions.

The meeting which has been organised by a local organization, Community Action for Sustainable Development (CASDO) with funding from Save the Children International, seeks to devise workable solutions for the protection of children through Education.

Neno Children's Parliament Speaker, Triphonia Kaduya says the council has positively responded to their last year's resolutions which among other things include ending of child marriages, ban on initiation ceremonies and prosecution of video show owners who expose the young to undesirable materials.

"We are happy that our council together with different stakeholders have joined hands to protect us from harmful cultural practices which include exposing us to traditional initiation ceremonies where unpalatable languages could be taught," she said.

She however, asked education authorities to consider building conventional boarding secondary schools saying at the moment only girls have been considered at Chiwale and Chikonde schools, sidelining the boy child, which an education representative Queen Sagawa said resources are being sourced.

For example, Senior Chief Mlauli, last year, banned all Traditional Initiation camps, a stand he has reiterated on Thursday, saying his chiefs are abiding by the order to an effect that no camp was set from last year to date.

"I don't believe in compromising the child's right to education, as they are our future leaders so am committed to protect these children through this project called " Securing Children's Rights through Education and Protection", he said.

In their remarks, Neno District Social Welfare officer, Paul Sosono and Neno Police Station Officer, Blessings Chikwatu, say they have intensified awareness campaigns to all video show owners and that a number of them have been prosecuted for violating the law, for example showing pornographic materials to the underaged.

Turning to issues of sanitation, Child parliamentarian for Zalewa constituency, Yamikani Songwe, asked for clean drinking water at the booming trade center, fearing a continued rise in cholera cases.

In response, Council Water Officer, Richard Mkandawire assured the parliamentarians that programs are under way to install gravity fed systems at the centre as the council is migrating from boreholes to gravity fed systems for easy management.

Meanwhile, Dreeni Geer, Global Director for Child Rights, Equality and Social Justice at Save the Children has recognised the efforts the children are making in order to make their voices heard through the Children's Parliament channel.

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