Leaders in Mwingi have raised alarm over high number of pregnancies among girls in primary and secondary schools in the sub county.
Speaking at a children advisory committee in Mwingi town, the leaders cited poor parenting as the major contributory factor to the vice.
“Parents are not offering guidance and couselling to their girls resulting to rampant teenage pregnancies and defilement cases. Parents are also behind myriad of early marriages which go unreported,” the committee members lamented.
The meeting chaired by Mwingi central sub county deputy county commissioner Omari Dima decried a recent scenario whereby ten girls at Muthuka Primary and Muthuka day secondary schools got pregnant in a span of three months.
“The pregnancies occurred as the girls attended evening preps as late as 8pm. The preps were done without the guidance of the teachers, thus leaving a loophole for the students to misbehave,” the children advisory committee members noted.
The sub county Children’s Officer Francis Katiku told the meeting that his office has been unable to handle defilement cases because in many instances parents are compromised.
“Most of the defilement cases are reported by teachers after they discover that the student is pregnant, sometimes six months after the incident happened,” he said.
He added parents are not willing to sue those responsible after being compromised and even when they finally report the case, it is mostly when the accused fails to honour agreements made in kangaroo courts.
“Other parents would report defilement cases when their daughters are already pregnant and this gives my office hard time to pursue the accused persons. We are forced to wait until the baby is born for a DNA test to ascertain evidence,” said Katiku.
The committee also expressed concern that in cases where guardians or parents are the offenders it becomes difficult to follow up the matter as such cases are not reported, but are discussed at the family level.
Members of the advisory committee called for creation of awareness among members of the public to enlighten parents and the local community on the need to protect girl child from sexual abuse.
By Denson Mututo and Phyllis Muli