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Parents tipped on morals to combat HIV/AIDS

The government is concerned about an upsurge of HIV/AIDS infections despite concerted efforts to bring the scourge under control, Marsabit County Commissioner Nobert Komora has warned.

At the same time, the reinstatement of the Kenya police reservists (KPR) in the county was under consideration, with the Morans being asked to steer clear of crime.

Mr. Komora said in Loglogo township in Laisamis constituency during this year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations that statistics at medical facilities not only in Marsabit County but across the country had shown an increase in new HIV/AIDS infections, especially among the youth.

The county commissioner called on parents to take a more active role in advising their children against engaging in premature sexual activities, as research has revealed a high rate of infection among teenagers in the 15–19-year bracket.

He said that teenage pregnancies were also on the rise and cautioned men against going for teenage girls whom they perceive to be healthy and not infected with the virus.

Mr. Komora reminded parents that female genital mutilation (FGM) was illegal and asked parents against forcing their female children to undergo the rite, as those caught would be punished.

On security, the county commissioner told the crowd, which included Marsabit Governor Mohamed Ali and Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton, that plans were being finalised to reconstitute KPR to boost security in the county.

He, however, cautioned that the plan might fail if local Morans continued to engage in banditry activities, especially livestock theft.

The county commissioner cited a recent incident in the Merti area of the neighbouring county of Isiolo, where four Morans were killed as they staged a livestock raid.

“As a government, we do not entertain such acts because it is a signal that government firearms could be misused if issued to people who still believe in armed raids for livestock,” he observed, and he warned that continued engagement by youths in crime could jeopardise the planned recruitment of KPR.

Mr. Komora hailed the good relations between the two levels of government in the county, which he noted have greatly enabled the restoration of peace.

Governor Ali called on the security organs not to relent on the fight against banditry, saying the restored peace and harmony must be jealously guarded.

The governor said his administration would continue to foster diversity in order to ensure that residents of Marsabit continue to benefit from the fruits of devolution.

He said that devolution has spurred growth across the country in terms of infrastructural development, service delivery, and the socio-economic well-being of the people.

He noted that challenges continue to bedevil the nation 60 years after independence as the country has yet to achieve a robust, inclusive, and equal economic opportunity, which, however, could be more effectively addressed if devolution is well managed.

The governor underscored the need for result-oriented efforts on climate change mitigation so as to make communities resilient and food secure.

He pointed out that persistent droughts have reduced pastureland in Marsabit County by 800,000 hectares from 2.8 million hectares in the past four decades.

By Sebastian Miriti

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