RUMPHI (Malawi NewsNow) -Teen girls in Malawi are being persuaded to cash in for sex to pay rent, food and basic consumables in light of the recent economic downturn a situation that is worrying authorities.
Young girls from disadvantaged rural areas are being vulnerable on ‘sex-pay-as –you-go’ relationships.
In Rumphi, at Mhuju during a sensitization campaign which was organized by the Mphoka Henga Valley Development Forum, Secretary for the forum, Naomi Nyirongo, noted with great concern the increasing number of teenage pregnancies in the district saying they are forcing many young girls to drop out of school.
“Some are prone to HIV/AIDS because some men attract them with money and sleep with them without even protecting themselves. Most of them are very little girls who are easily coaxed with money. It’s a very pathetic development indeed,” said Nyirongo.
It is believed that some wealthy men from Mzuzu and other surrounding areas go to the area and convince some girls with money in exchange for sex. Most of the girls being school going but from very poor backgrounds brave the dangers of unprotected sex and open their legs to these big men.
Nyirongo also expressed worry that the soon-to-begin construction of Njakwa, Livingstonia, and Chitimba road might accompany some negative impacts on the lives of their daughters.
“You know girls of nowadays are very much attracted with money, so our fear is that as these people will start the road project here our daughters might be turned to their sex agents. Our advice is that our girls must stay in school and stop loving money much,” added Nyirongo.
In some areas where related developments have been taking place like in Chitipa and Kayerekera in Karonga, cases of rampant pregnancies have been reported because the visiting workers were usually finding comfort in the available girls within the areas.
During the construction of Karonga-Chitipa road, some girls from the surrounding areas were giving in to the visiting contractors who were making love with them in exchange for money.
Prostitution in Malawi is illegal.
Yet, in a country where young girls in their puberty are often married away, legislation on under-age sexual conduct stands in stark contrast to customary law and local culture.