Plan International-Kenya, a non-governmental organization (NGO) has entered into partnership with Boda boda operators in Homa Bay County to enhance campaigns against teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
NGO’s Western regional manager Raphael Aoko said the operators are well placed in the society to fight the vice for they engage with those girls on daily basis.
Aoko said this Monday while addressing the operators at Sero youth vocational training center in Homa bay Sub County during a sensitization meeting where he stressed that Plan International will support the riders in all their initiatives towards the same.
“Now that Boda boda riders and everybody has shown commitment, we want to commit as Plan international that they will be able to support all the initiatives that they will be undertaking in this noble work of child protection,”Aoko said.
The officer was accompanied by Homa bay County Commissioner Samson Irungu, County Police Commander Marius Tum, County AP Commandant Michael Mutonyi, County directorate of criminal investigation Daniel Wachira and County Children Affairs Coordinator Peter Kutere.
He reiterated that the program is meant to sensitize the bodaboda operators on how they can partner with various authorities and agencies to curb the rising cases of teenage pregnancy that has put Homa-Bay in position two with 38 per cent after Narok County which leads with 41per cent.
“We know that the statistics are showing that Homa bay is leading in issues of teenage pregnancies but as Plan we must say we have created a lot of awareness amongst the community which enabled them to report defilement cases promptly to relevant authorizes,”Aoko said.
At the same time Aoko said that their engagement with boda boda operators is a sign of commitment in ending cases of early pregnancies, teenage marriages and defilement in the county.
On his part the County Commissioner said his office is working with Nyumba Kumi officials, village elders, chiefs, their assistants and other interested parties in identifying perpetrators of teenage pregnancies and early marriages in the county.
“The government is working with other organizations in helping young girl overcome these challenges,” said Irungu.
He expressed concern that most girls fall victims to sexual violence during school holidays and particularly the long festive season.
The Commissioner and County Children Affairs Coordinator Peter Kutere said the government is committed in making sure that there is 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.
He ordered chiefs within the county to report and take action against parents whose children will not join form one in 2019.
The administrator further appealed to parents to take care of their children especially during this festive season when he noted teenage girls get pregnant.
By Davis Langat