A whooping 5,000 teenage pregnancies have been recorded in Siaya between January and May this year, raising concern over the future of the teenagers’ education and that of their unborn babies.
Area County Commissioner (CC), Michael ole Tialal described the teenage pregnancies issue a serious pandemic in the county that is almost rivalling the Coronavirus.
The CC said that analysis of the data from the public hospitals revealed that 310 young girls aged between 10 –14 years got pregnant and a further 3,286 girls aged between 15 to 19 conceived within the five months.
“If you work out your arithmetic, you will find that during the period under review, an average of 62 girls aged between 10 to 14 years were getting pregnant every day, which is embarrassing,” he said.
He also revealed an unfortunate fact that those behind the pregnancies were men aged between 25 to 65 years.
Tialal lamented that some parents were perpetrating the vice by allowing the cases to be handled through Kangaroo courts to protect their “family name” while others knowingly allowed their children to practice premature sex.
He gave example of a case where a mother took her form two daughter to live with a man on understanding that the daughter will return when schools open.
In another case, three sisters aged between 10 and 15 years left their home in Karapul sub location to visit a boy.
“The boy called in two of his friends and together, they went on an orgy with the young girls, spending several days in the home,” said the county commissioner.
He lamented that the worst of it was that the boy’s mother knew of what was happening and was always taking food to the children and locking them in the house during the day.
Tialal said the parents behind the evil acts have been arrested, together with their daughters and sons and made to face the law.
“The government will not allow parents to misbehave and abdicate their roles,” he said.
He called on the church leaders, politicians and civil society organizations to join the war against teenage pregnancies in the county and instructed the police and national government administrative officers to ensure that those behind such acts are dealt with accordingly.
Tialal was speaking in Siaya town on Tuesday during a celebration of the conferment of the Elder of Burning Spear (EBS) award by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the Siaya county Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson, Mrs. Patricia Apoli, who was honoured as a Shujaa during the Mashujaa day celebrations held in Mombasa last year.
By Philip Onyango