Kilifi starts campaign to end teenage pregnancies

Governor Kingi launches task force to study problem and recommend measures

In Summary

• Enforcement officers to raid bars that sell alcohol to minors

• Kingi launches 2019-2022 youth reproductive health strategic plan

Kilifi Govenor Amason Kingi
TAKING ACTION: Kilifi Govenor Amason Kingi
Image: FILE

The Kilifi county government will embark on a major crackdown on bars and palm wine dens that serve minors to curb rising teenage pregnancies.

Governor Amason Kingi said his enforcement officers together with security personnel will conduct impromptu raids and any bar found allowing minors shall lose its license.

Kingi made the announcement when launching the Kilifi County Adolescents and Young Persons Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV Strategy 2019-2022 on Wednesday.

He also commissioned a 16-member task force on teenage pregnancies.

Last year, the county ranked top in teenage pregnancies with a record 17,000 girls affected.

Kingi said the task force will come up with a report at the end of June with recommendations on how to curb the problem.

"The war against teenage pregnancy will not succeed if all stakeholders are not involved. As government we are committed to succeed," he said.

Some bars and night clubs allegedly allow minors in their premises, which contributes to the early sex often leading to teenage pregnancy.

The situation is worse in mnazi dens were mothers reportedly use their young daughters to lure clients who end up in relationships with them.

The governor called on parents to take responsibility if they are committed to end teenage pregnancy.

Kingi said the sexual offences law should be amended to have stiffer penalties including castration of men convicted on impregnating minors.

He said the communities in Kilifi have abandoned their cultures which offer guidance on how children are brought up with good morals.

Another major contributor of teenage pregnancies, he said, is disco matanga, which was banned last year.

He said children nowadays flock to funerals at night to have fun when parents are asleep.

The governor said there champions will be appointed in all villages to advocate for change and ensure there are no teenage pregnancies.

Kilifi county commissioner Magu Mutindika blamed parents for increased teenage pregnancies in the county.

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