Parents have been urged to be more vigilant and monitor their children’s’ movements in the wake of increased child pregnancy and suicide cases in Lamu.
Speaking during a women’s forum in Lamu Island yesterday evening, youth leader Maryam Abubakar raised concern over the three recent reported suicide deaths of three teenage girls suspected to have been pregnant.
“Parents need to be keener especially during this period when children are idle and vulnerable to fall prey to early pregnancies, and its stigmatization that can lead to suicide among our girls,” Maryam stated.
She noted that the national government had put in place steps to ensure that suspected perpetrators were more liable to prosecution unlike before but insisted that the onus was on parents to ensure that their children do not fall into early teen pregnancies and drug abuse especially during this pandemic crisis period.
She further warned girls to be wary of boda boda operators who have been blamed for contributing to the high pregnancy rates among teenage girls in Lamu.
“Parents should avoid the temptation of marrying off their girls for dowry and allow their children to finish school, as that is the only way to ensure they become self-sufficient,” Maryam said.
The sentiments were echoed by Lamu Women Representative Ruweida Obo who also urged parents to be more vigilant with their children, noting some parents were only too keen to marry off their children.
“There is need to protect our daughters by ensuring that their future is secured through a good education and not marriage which is not the alternative to a good life, given the high rate of divorces in Lamu among young couples,” Ruweida stated.
Lamu divorce rate stands at 60 percent, with most young girls married off early leading in the list.
Lamu County Commissioner Macharia Irungu also told KNA that the national government has worked hard to ensure that early teen pregnancies are kept low by ensuring the arrest and prosecution of suspected pedophiles.
By Amenya Ochieng