Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani has urged parents to be more vigilant with their children especially girls when at home during this long school holiday decrying the high cases of teen pregnancies in the region.
Governor Achani has decried cases of defilement, child marriage, teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence in the coastal county impacting negatively on the society.
She has expressed dissatisfaction with the increasing number of teenage pregnancies and all forms of abuse against girl-child and women folk in the county.
Achani wants more attention to be given to the girl child as they are faced with increasing pressures and hazards in form of sexual assaults, harassments, defilement and unwanted pregnancies.
She said that it was imperative to guide the girl child from early stages in life especially now that the moral fabrics of the society had been torn apart.
Addressing residents at Vigurungani location, Kinango Sub County during this year’s 59th Jamhuri Day celebrations, Achani noted that cases of teen pregnancies were increasing despite efforts to confront the social vice.
The county boss described as worrisome the levels at which teenage girls were getting impregnated at the expense of their education.
Achani observed that education is the key to the development and progress of any society and asked residents to pay attention to the education of their children especially the girl-child.
She said the tool to address ignorance, poverty and disease is education and called on parents to make their children’s education a priority.
She urged parents to engage their children, especially teenagers, in productive activities during this period of school holidays to prevent them from turning to sex as recreation and to also build their self-esteem.
Achani noted that the rising cases of teenage pregnancy in the county were as a result of ‘failed home training in many families’ putting the future of youth in danger.
“If both parents handled their families properly, such things as teenage pregnancy will be a thing of the past,” she said.
Governor Achani has blamed cases of sexual abuse of minors and teenage pregnancies on night music at funerals.
She said teen pregnancy is a major problem among adolescents in the region and blamed the phenomenon on night discos and funeral disco matangas.
She criticized the existence of disco matanga in the community terming it as the main contributor of early pregnancies and marriages in the region.
Achani noted that disco matangas had brought more harm than benefit to area residents and wanted the night vigil festivities stopped to curb increasing cases of early pregnancy and dropping out of school.
Area County Commissioner (CC) Gideon Oyagi directed chiefs and their assistants to ensure no disco matanga activities were taking place in their areas of jurisdiction.
He also decried the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the region noting that it was largely due to poor parenting.
Oyagi said the grassroots administrators should strive to end the social vices in their areas of jurisdiction to safeguard their jobs.
The CC said crackdowns would be carried out by the police to arrest those engaged in the business of disco matangas.
He warned those engaged in the cultural event that firm action would be taken against them and asked locals to support efforts to stamp out the menace.
Oyagi also directed security chiefs in the county to put in place strict measures to combat runaway crime in the region.
He said security personnel should always remain at a heightened state of alert to nip crime in the bud especially along the south coast seafront frequented by tourists especially during peak season.
He said security apparatus should remain on high alert to ensure the safety of area residents, domestic and foreign tourists and that the general peace and tranquility in the region is maintained at all times.
By Hussein Abdullahi