Concerned parents and guardians in Mangochi District have asked government and other stakeholders to protect children roaming the town council’s streets by taking them back to their homes.
The call follows a wave of children, particularly girls, who roam the streets during school time while others engage in prostitution in street corners or beer halls at night.
One of the parents, Darwin Nhlane, said he is worried that the behaviour is putting the children’s lives at risk.
“It is not good for children to loiter in town during day, and at night,” he said.
Nhlane said the children indulge in prostitution, beer drinking, smoking and other bad behaviours, including committing serious crimes.
He challenged government departments in the district and other stakeholders to take drastic action to protect the children.
Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education (Cyece) district coordinator Isaac Salimu, whose organisation promotes children’s rights in the district, said they are trying to address the issue through the district’s child protection department.
Mangochi District assistant social welfare officer Harvey M’bwezo said his office is aware of the development and it has partnered non-governmental organisations, police and other players championing children’s rights to embark on a clean-up exercise.
“These children are everywhere in town. For more than once, we have done clean-up exercises with our partners. The intervention is ongoing, but due to lack of resources, we are failing to sweep them away,” he said.