VICE-PRESIDENT Dr Philip Mpango has urged for participatory parenting, to enhance proper child upbringing that will help address the challenge of teenage pregnancy.
Dr Mpango made the remarks on Sunday when attending the holy mass service at the Virgin Mary Mkingiwa Catholic Church in Mpanda District, Katavi Region.
He said teenage pregnancy remains a big challenge for the region, saying urgent solutions were required to check the vice.
The vice-president said the government has made tremendous progress in health, education and social service delivery in the country, saying in spite of the progress made, adolescent girls remain the most vulnerable segment of the population in the country.
Dr Mpango said, teenage pregnancy, in particular, is among the most pervasive problems affecting the health, social, economic and political progress and empowerment of young women and girls in Tanzania.
He said that there are negative effects of pregnancy at a young age, which includes death and fistula disease.
Dr Mpango said considering that early childbearing and teenage pregnancy are complex issues with multiple causes and diverse consequences, the government has developed a comprehensive strategy in addressing the challenge but insisted that parents, guardians and religious leaders have a significant role to play to help promote proper upbringing and morals among children.
He said participatory parenting was crucial to help protect teenage girls for them to be able to stay in school, postpone marriage, delay family formation and build their capacity. He said doing so will help the girls to prepare for adulthood and participate in the labour force including taking various leadership roles.
Moreover, Dr Mpango stressed the need for residents of Katavi to store food that they have harvested during this season, to enhance food security in case of emergencies. He said the region has experienced insufficient rain this year.
For his part, Bishop Filbert Bafumkeko, who led the mass, said that if believers unite together, they can change society and overcome the issue of increasing pregnancy at a young age.
Meanwhile, the vice-president launched the Sibwesa water project at Tanganyika District in the Katavi Region. The water project constructed at the tune of 173.2m/-, will benefit more than 7,000 residents of Sibwesa Village.
Speaking to 'wananchi' shortly after the launch, Dr Mpango said that the government will continue to implement important social services projects such as water, education and health to help citizens achieve rapid development.
Dr Mpango ordered the authorities to deploy extension officers in the village, so as to help the farmers practice modern agriculture and increase the yields.
On his part, the Deputy Minister for Water, Ms Maryprisca Mahundi said the water project was implemented using the Covid-19 relief funds.
She said the ministry will also implement another project in Mpanda at the cost of 1.8bn/- to help provision of clean and safe water in the four villages of Nkungwi, Kasekese, Kaseganya and Sibwese.
Mpanda Rural Member of Parliament, Selemani Kakoso hailed the government for implementing the project, which has led to major changes in the village and enabled students to make full use of their time to study, unlike before when they were forced to search for water service most of the time.
He asked the government to help the Tanganyika District and Katavi region to overcome the water challenge by tapping water from Lake Tanganyika, which is a reliable source of water.
On his visit to Kayenze village, the VP instructed the ministry of water to ensure that the water project in the village is completed by December this year. He said the government has already paid money to the contractor who is executing the project.
Dr Mpango also instructed the Ministry of Energy to ensure that it solves the challenge of power outages in Katavi Region. He also instructed the citizens to protect and preserve the environment in order to deal with the effects of climate change that cause various effects such as drought and excessive heat.