Gomoa Ngyiresi (C/R), July 24, GNA – Nana Kwesi Essoun III, Odikro of Gomoa Ngyiresi in Gomoa West, has declared his commitment to collaborate with his colleague chiefs in the crusade against child marriage in their areas.
He said child marriage is a major concern for the society, saying it is time traditional rulers and other stakeholders to put in place the appropriate measures to end such practices.
Nana Essoun III made the declaration at the launching of a five-year project dubbed “Protection, Empowerment and Community Action against Child Marriage (PECACEM) in Gomoa Ngyires in Gomoa West.
The project is being implemented by International Needs Ghana a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) in 16 communities in Gomoa West and Mfantisman Municipality, with sponsorship by UNICEF.
The Odikro commended the NGO for selecting his town as a beneficiary of the project, saying he and his elders will rally behind them to ensure that child marriages are curbed in the area.
Addressing the gathered, Mr Cromwell Awady, Head of Programmes of International Needs Ghana, said the project seeks to promote an enhanced safe and protective environment for children that will prevent and respond to child marriages and other forms of child protection violations.
He said Ghana is one of the countries with a high prevalence of child marriage, saying one out of every four girls in the country gets married before her 18th birthday.
He said the Upper East Region has the highest prevalence rate of 39.20 per cent; Central Region. 32.1 percent; and these are well above the National average of 27percent.
He said child marriages impedes the child’s education, exposes her to child abuse and increase the risk of maternal mortality among others.
He said as part of the project, Child Right Clubs will be formed in schools and volunteers would be trained to help in the advocacy programmes.