An alarming 672 girls in primary and another 924 in secondary schools were expectant as at January this year in Kakamega County.
The County Chief Education Officer (CCEO) David Kasembeli said the number could be higher as this figure excludes those who do not go to school.
Mr. Kasembeli spoke during the County Area Advisory Council (CAAC) on children welfare meeting at the County Commissioner’s board room on Thursday pointed out that 12 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and 26 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates were pregnant while sitting the examinations.
The CCEO stated that over 90 per cent of the pregnancies happen outside the school environment.
“The teenagers are usually impregnated during holidays for borders while for the day scholars when they are outside the school compounds,” he said.
He said they intend to strictly enforce the reporting and departure time for day scholars since it has been argued that the girls leave so early for school and return at dusk making them vulnerable to the sex pests.
The stipulated reporting time is 7.30 am and departure is 4.30 pm but in most instances it is 5.30 am and 6.30 pm respectively.
The attendees included Children Officers and representatives from other stakeholders including the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) the World Vision and Anglican Development Services.
They attributed the situation to incest, rape, poverty and the bodaboda operators who are the sex pests.
The County Coordinator of Children Services Masika Wasike said the number of street children in Kakamega had reduced from over 200 last year to one hundred, courtesy of rescuing, caring, and rehabilitating and re-integration efforts carried out by the stakeholders.
He added that the afflictions facing the children in the region are due to neglect, abandonment, abuse, and defilement and family break-ups.
By Sammy Mwibanda