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23.05.2019 General News

Mepe Queenmother Raises Alarm Over Rising Teenage Pregnancy 

By Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU || TodayNewspaper
Mepe Queenmother Raises Alarm Over Rising Teenage Pregnancy 

The new Queen-Mother of the Mepe Traditional Area in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV, who is known in her private life as Mrs. Enyonam Adjagar, has expressed grave worry about soaring statistics of the teenage pregnancies in the area.

She has, however, warned unscrupulous men taking advantage of these teenage girls to put an end to such barbaric attitudes and behaviours.

This she noted would pave way for the girls to attain their dreams and aspirations.

Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV made the statement in an exclusive interview with Today after the principal kingmakers and accredited elders of Mepe on Sunday, May 18, 2019, performed traditional and customary rites to legally installed her as the new Queen-mother.

She issued a strong warning that "if any man is caught of having sexual intercourse with a teenage girl(s), we will not be spared such perpetrator as well as not even allowing such matter to be settled at home."

Her installment was in line with Mepe's tradition to succeed in the late substantive Queen- mother, Mamaga Awusi Sreku III.

The late Queen-mother, Mamaga Awusi Sreku III whom Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV succeeded has reigned for 63 years and died in November 2017 and was finally laid to rest on Saturday, August 18, 2018. She died at the age of 92 years.

Being passionate the future young people in her area, specifically girls, Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV continued that any male human being, who committed the 'crime' would be arrested and handed over to the police to be prosecuted before the law court.

The 51-year-old Queen-mother, who is blessed with three children, stated categorically that "under the law of the country if you have sex with a girl under 15 years is a heinous crime and punishable by law "

To help prevent this worrying development, she indicated that her outfit is prepared and ready to work closely with the parents to intensify sexual education to their teenage girls to help them abstain from early sex, which often lands them in trouble.

Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV, who believes in absolute abstinence as the best way to reduce the alarming rate of teenage pregnancies and child parenting in the area, advised both sexes to abstain from sex.

When asked as a newly installed Queen-mother what are some measures she would put in other social challenges such as increased number women engagement in smoking of illicit drugs, high rate of divorce, early child marriage, falling standard of education and gross disunity among the people, she promised to prioritize those issues as major concerns.

Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV averred that the aforementioned problems are real challenges that are having negative impacts on the area, thereby inviting all stakeholders, including parents, teachers, pastors, and opinion leaders, to support the fight against these social menaces.

Although she is yet to abreast herself with all these issues in the area, she stated that with support from her elders, research will soon be conducted in the various villages within the Mepe enclave to know what the real problems are and solutions to adopt.

She added that her office will soon be meeting the various stakeholders including the public sector players, traditional office holders, religious leaders, faith-based organisations, civil society organizations, and donor partners to fashion out solution address the challenges.

She indicated that the intended motive was to determine the root cause of the problem, "so that we can have one coherent intervention that would lead to minimising teenage pregnancies and girls' school dropout."

Flanked by the Sub-Divisional Chief of Mepe Dzagbaku Clan, Togbe Azagba IV, Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV stated that she has vision of improving cleanses, including social and infrastructure development of Mepe in the areas of education, sanitation, health, security and believes that " we help of the chiefs and people of Mepe we shall surely get there."

Articulating on the issue of falling standards of girl child education in Mepe, the queen-mother assured that she was going to access the situation critically and after she was conversant with the issue on the grounds, she would work with her educational friends and stakeholders to address the issue by the way of inculcating reading habits among students and improve proper parental care.

She indicated her commitment to setting up both boys and girls clubs which would serve as a viable platform to train and mentor the youth on how to become good and responsible leaders in the future.

"The clubs would be used as tool to train and mentor the youth of Mepe and ensure that those who were academically to go higher than what they can...and those who are not academical would also be trained in the intensive skills development programmes which would also help them to get some jobs doing to make them successful in their lives," Mamaga Adzor Sreku IV further assured.

She noted that she believes that if the youth were properly trained and mentored on how to leave responsible life they did not engage in any negative practices or social vices that could affect their lives in the future.

"My focus is about the upbringing of children so l am preparing to champion this course before the position of my installation as the new queen-mother of Mepe was decided of elders and kingmakers...So l hope that since this position was finally conferred on me l would make sure that all these vision and aspirations yield positive results to the transform the people," she noted.

The Sub-Divisional Chief of Mepe Dzagbaku Clan, Togbe Azagba IV, also added his voice to the call to the parents to ensure that their children avoid the practice of early sex and also inculcate them the importance of successful marriage procedures.

The chief noted that one of the causes of the rise in teenage girl pregnancies and girl child school dropout in Mepe was a result of lack of proper parental care.

Togbe Azagba IV, further said it was the responsibility of parents to provide children with a good foundation through inculcating moral values in children so that they would realise their full potential to enable them to build their communities in future.