Civil societies have been asked to assist the government in tackling societal challenges currently facing the country.
Machakos Deputy Commissioner Mr. Kassim Boso said there was need for cooperation between civil society groups and the state to ensure success in addressing some of the challenges currently dogging the people.
Boso who was addressing an Area Advisory Council (AAC) meeting in Machakos singled out suicide cases and teenage pregnancies as among the leading challenges facing Machakos and which need urgent redress lest they get out of hand.
“Suicide and defilement cases are very high in this county, a reality which we need to confront and address as fast as possible. We need to talk to our people on these issues and we need to speak to both our teenage boys and girls and advise them on the dangers of engaging in irresponsible sexual behaviors,” he pointed out.
He also urged women right crusaders groups such as the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (Fida) to open its offices in the area to help assist the many underage girls and boys who are undergoing sexual assault and other abuses.
Boso said such offices should also plan field meetings where residents can be educated on the need of reporting defilement cases to the relevant authorities.
The administrator said this was the only way the affected victims and families can be sensitised and thereby enable the victims of such acts to access legal justice.
“Civil societies should play a leading role in addressing the plight of both the girl and boy child. We need to have the offices of such organizations set up here so that they can be able to have the feel of the people and carry out necessary trainings to enlighten the society on how to speak out against some of these vices,” he added.
Machakos Deputy Children’s Officer Emily Kimanzi cited Machakos and Mwala sub counties as some of the leading areas in the county with runaway cases of defilement.
She said her office was receiving countless reports of children who have been defiled on a daily basis and said the society needs to come out and speak out against the vice before it ruins the future of the youths.
“We are receiving very many cases of girls who have been defiled especially from Mwala and Machakos sub county. Currently we have five cases of pregnant girls at the Machakos Children Rescue Center whose cases we are still following up to ensure they get justice. But we need to know what strategy which is going to be done to ensure these acts are dealt with once and for all,” she said.
Late last year former Machakos County Commissioner Abdullahi Galglo Hiddi warned that the rate at which people were ending their lives in the area was escalating.
Addressing 31 members of the County Area Advisory Council (CAAC) in Machakos on November 21, Hiddi had called upon area leaders to come up with a lasting solution to help address the new social challenge which he termed as a real threat to the county’s future.
The former county boss who is now the Embu County Commissioner said the number of suicide deaths that were being reported to his office on a daily basis were unacceptably high and one that portends a real drawback to the county’s development.
The administrator said majority of those affected by the vice were male adults aged between 18 and 40 years and who comprised the most productive segment in the country’s economy.
He challenged religious and community leaders to be speaking to the public on a regular basis to help address the problem and also come up with solutions to underlying issues driving people to the point of taking their lives.
By Samuel Maina