Chunya District Community Development Officer, Ally Ally said this when speaking at a meeting which brought together various stakeholders, heads of departments, village and ward executive officers. He said that children are forced into forced labour due to poverty at family level.
“Child labour at mining sites is dangerous to their health because some of them do not have protective gear. We are working to reverse the situation. We want all the children to go back to school since the government is now implementing free education policy,” he noted.
Matundasi ward executive officer, Lester Ndomba said there are 157 children from his area who are currently working in gold mines and factories. He said they are still conducting research to identify more pupils engaging in such activities.
Ndomba explained that various interventions are being implemented by village and ward leaders to make sure all the children return to school. He said so far 30 primary school pupils have resumed their studies, insisting the remaining 150 pupils will be rescued in near future.
“We need to control the situation to reduce illiteracy level. We are likely to have many people who do not know how to read and write if the situation is left to continue,” said Ndomba.
Sangambi ward executive officer, Ntundu Chapa said there are many children working in the surrounding gold mines.
He urged parents and guardians to take their children back to school since basic education is free. He insisted that income generating activities should be done by parents and not children.
Chairman of the district safety and security committee, Rehema Madusa said: “We have directed the district executive director to make sure all the children go back to school. They should be enrolled under a special programme for children who missed the opportunity (MEMKWA).