The Sissala West Co-ordinator of Adolescent Health and Development, a non-government organisation (NGO), Mr. Sulley Muhammed has expressed worry over the rise in school dropout rates in the area attributing the phenomenon partly to child marriage.
According to him, in spite of effort at ending child marriage by various stakeholders, the practice continued in most communities in the district.
Speaking at a durbar of chiefs at Gwollu in the district, as part of the Community Empowerment Against Child Marriage project he said statistics available indicated that in 2015 alone, a total of 690 girl-child pregnancies were recorded in the area.
Mr Muhammed indicated that out of the figure more than 80 per cent dropped out of school to become parents.
He said that for the first half of this year, 296 cases of girl-child pregnancy were recorded, and there was the fear that the number could exceed that of last year unless drastic measures were taken to deal with the situation.
Mr Muhammed noted that the phenomenon was also widening and deepening the dependency rate of the district, stressing that “as a result of the vulnerability of these girls most of them and their children have to depend on their families and other community members for their survival.”
He urged traditional, religious, and community leaders and other stakeholders to collaborate efforts to end child-marriage.
The Executive Director for the Centre for Development Initiative, an NGO, Mr Alexis Danikuu said the durbar sought to end child marriage in the district.
He said there was the need to educate chiefs on the effects of child marriage on the development of communities.
Mr Danikuu expressed the hope that the active involvement of traditional leaders would help abolish traditional practices that promoted child marriages in the district
The Paramount Chief of the Gwollu Traditional Area, Kuri-Buktie Limann IV, educated the chiefs through the various legislations on child marriage, and asked them to be weary of its implications.
From Cliff Ekuful, Gwollu