Makueni County Commissioner (CC) Beverly Opwora has decried the increasing cases of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and defilement that have impacted negatively on education of the girl child in the area.
The public outcry comes hot on the heels of 43 teenage pregnant girls who are currently sitting for their national examinations and 32 cases of defilement committed by men in the county.
“Some of the statistics we have is a girl who sat for Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) grade 6, two who did Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and 40 girls seating for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) that did or have done their examinations in hospital, “said Opwora on Monday during Jamhuri Day celebrations held at Mukuyuni Primary School in Makueni Sub county.
“It is not in the interest of the national government to administer examinations to our girls in hospital. Between the month of October and December 2022, we have had 32 cases of defilement of children in the county,” lamented the administrator.
She warned men of dire consequences while calling on all stakeholders to supplement government efforts to end the vices that were affecting the education of the girl child in the county.
The administrator said consumption of alcohol besides use of drug and substance abuse as some of the factors contributing to these vices in the society hence the need to combat the evils.
Opwora said that in this month of December, they have impounded over 100 litres of chang’aa, 150 litres of kangara, 135 rolls of bhang and 2,350 sticks of bhang estimated at a street value of Sh 1.7 million.
“The use of illicit brews, drug and substances abuse among men, has contributed to increased cases of assault, defilement, gender based violence, murder and suicide in the area,” lamented Opwora.
She called for concerted efforts from the clergy and leaders from the area to find a way to engage in a bid to empower the young girls who are the beacon and heritage of the society.
She at the same time asked wananchi to take advantage of the short rains to plant crops besides planting tree seedlings in their farms to enable them earn a living and fight poverty.
The administrator disclosed that the county has so far planted 567,954 tree seedlings in government institutions and private farms while thanking the county government of Makueni, Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Green Belt Movement and Equity bank as some of the institutions that donated the tree seedlings.
Makueni County Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr disclosed that his government has contained the armyworm that had affected 150 acres of land in Masongaleni, Nthongoni and Nguu Masumba areas.
“With the support from the national government, we were provided with sprayers and pesticides to deal with the worms and I can confidently say that the situation is under control,” said Mutula.
The County boss asked the national government to ensure the fiber-optic cables under NOFBI-II are connected to urban centres like Mukuyuni and Wote towns.
He observed that this will go a long way in alleviating the problem the youth face of getting bundles to access the internet hence helping them to venture into online employment.
Other leaders who addressed the gathering included Makueni Senator Daniel Maanzo, Women Representative Rose Museo and Kaiti Member of parliament Joshua Kimilu.
By Patrick Nyakundi