The Kakamega County Coordinator of Children Services (CCCS), Richard Masika has appealed to the government to establish more children courts in the county to help fast track children’s access to the justice.
Masika said the county has been identified as having a high prevalence of defilement and sexual abuse cases especially during the covid-19 pandemic which led to indefinite closure of schools.
The CCCS who spoke on Tuesday during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child, said that cases of defilement have risen drastically since January especially in the sub counties of Malava, Shinyalu, Ikolomani, and Lurambi, with Malava recording 72 defilement between January and April.
He disclosed that there are only four courts in the county which are unable to offer quick and efficient justice.
“Most of our people are not able to access the courts due to distance given that Kakamega is a vast county with only four courts in Mumias, Butere, Malava, and Kakamega Central which are sometimes overwhelmed or too far from the victims,” he observed.
He attributed the rise in defilement and sexual abuse cases to delayed justice making the perpetrators walk free and hence encouraging the vice.
“We are appealing to the government to establish more juvenile remand homes, child protection units and rescue centres across the western region in order to address children issues appropriately,” he stated.
The officer added that Kakamega Juvenile remand home is the only one serving the whole western region.
He also said there was need to educate the communities in the region regarding cultural practices that infringe on children rights such as female circumcision and child labour.
By Sammy Mwibanda/Remigius Maloba