Bungoma County recorded 6,000 teen pregnancy cases during the Covid-19 pandemic period, it has emerged.
The County Women Representative, Catherine Wambilianga, while disclosing the figures, added that many of the pregnant girls were candidates and delivered while sitting for their KCPE examinations.
She spoke to the press when she led the Public Service and Gender Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Linah Jebii Kilimo on an inspection of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) rescue centre at Ndengelwa in Bungoma County.
Wambilianga blamed perpetrators who prey on innocent school going children and called for stiff penalties against them.
She said that the centre was put up through funds received from the national government Affirmative Action Funds (NGAAF) to help rescue female genital mutilation (FGM) victims and survivors of other forms of gender based violence.
“This centre plays an important role in this county and I thank NGAAF for the fantastic work done,” she said.
In her address Kilimo asked the public to report any form of sexual harassment to the nearest police station or call the toll free number 116 swiftly for action.
The CAS noted that the government will avail resource personnel to the centre who will help in handling defilement, incest and drug abuse cases in Bungoma County.
She appealed to defilement victims to immediately report to the relevant authorities and visit any healthcare facility nearest to them for examination within 72 hours of the incident.
She asked county commissioners to work closely with children’s department and help end defilement, incest, and drug abuse in communities.
Bungoma County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti said that issues of defilement, incest, family battles and drug abuse are on the rise in the County asking different departments to work closely with security team to end vices.
“We have tried to manage the situation but our efforts are not good enough. I want to appeal to all departments to combine efforts and advocate against such,” Kimiti noted.
By Roseland Lumwamu and Enoch Sitati