County moves in to curb teenage pregnancy
27 May 2016, 09:25
Bungoma - Bungoma County has moved in to address the issue of teenage pregnancy that has escalated in the County in the recent days.
The County in partnership with the Kenya Red-Cross Society and Kibabii University has started a study program to unearth the root of the problem in and recommend solutions.
Bungoma County Deputy Governor, Hillary Chongwony said the study is important in seeking amicable ways to address the matter.
He at the same time faulted the community for not placing deserving value on education and concentrate in issues that threaten the lives of the constituents.
“Parents and affected groups including the children do not speak up or report such cases to relevant authorities. Settling them locally is no solution,” he added.
He called on stakeholders and the Non-Governmental Organizations to offer feasible and sustainable solutions and asked parents to take responsibility over their children.
“We are fighting a very serious problem and we as people and government have to look for a long lasting solution,” Chongony pointed out.
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County Minister for Health, Water and Sanitation Stephen Kokonya said that dealing with morality problems requires efforts of every stakeholder involved.
“Church should also be in the forefront to educate the public on morality,” said Kokonya.
From the pilot study conducted, families and schools that border the forest are the most affected by teenage pregnancy and early marriages.
Lack of better shelters, poverty, ignorance on the rights of the girl child, outdated cultural practices such as FGM are among the major factors for the escalating cases of teenage pregnancy, according to the study.
The outlawed Sabaot Land Defense Forces (SLDF) and the conflict that arose in the area in 2006-2008 are also to blame.
Mt Elgon has been in the limelight since 2014 when 18 minors from Chepkurkur Primary School were found pregnant, prompting the Deputy President William Ruto to order chiefs to arrest and prosecute culprits.
One year later, 20 girls aged between 15-17 at Chelebei Secondary school in the same ward were found pregnant, forcing the County government to initiate this study program to deal with the issue.
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