Under age pregnancies have reached alarming levels with calls for the trend to be declared a national disaster.
Speaking to KNA on Wednesday, Machakos County Director of Children Services (CDDS), Salome Muthama noted the increasing cases of defilement and early pregnancies qualified to be a national disaster.
Following this pronouncement, Muthama appealed for change of approach to address the defilement and sodomy issues affecting children with new calls to set up a police unit to track and facilitate prosecution of the suspects.
Salome said there have been challenges tracing suspects of defilement due to lack of good will from some parents and relatives of defilement victims, adding that some opt out of criminal legal procedures for Kangaroo courts where compensation is made to settle the crime.
The CDDS lamented the compensation agreement, saying it is a breach of a child’s right and the injuries they incur including mental trauma which last for a life time thus no amount of money can compensate such.
She affirmed that the government remains committed to funding institutions such as rescue centers which were started to assist girls from problematic areas after the 2007 post-election violence.
Muthama said unlike before, the government now ensures timely disbursement of funds to operationalize running of these vital centers that host children with multiple psycho-social and physical problems due to the horrifying situations they underwent before they were rescued.
She appealed to the county government, communities, companies and individuals near rescue centers to offer support, including counseling and material support as part of social responsibility.
Areas of intervention include offering of vocational training to the rescued children in efforts to equip them with skills to earn them a living once they get out of the rescue facility when they turn 18 years.
Muthama said these centers house girls and boys where they are enrolled for formal schooling in nearby institutions, where two girls sat their KCPE and one is sitting her KCSE.
She praised some of the rehabilitated girls who over perform in academics noting one of them is in a national school after scoring high in last year’s KCPE exam.
By Joseph Kamolo