• According to Kenya Demographic and Health Survey report,Homa Bay has 24 percent prevalence in teen pregnancies while HIV prevalence is 19.6 percent.
• Wanga said the kitty is aimed at ensuring students from less fortunate families are helped to access basic education without difficulties,
The Homa Bay government wants school children to address cases of teenage pregnancies that are rife in the county.
Governor Gladys Wanga said many cases of defilement and other sexual molestation involving adolescents are still being reported in Homa Bay, which calls for them to help.
Many girls have fallen victims to the problem, considering the high prevalence of teen pregnancies reported in Homa Bay. Sex pests take advantage of the vulnerability of the girls and lure them into sexual intercourse at a very younger age.
According to Kenya Demographic and Health Survey report released last week, Homa Bay has 24 percent prevalence in teen pregnancies while HIV prevalence is 19.6 percent.
Other counties with high teen pregnancies rate are Samburu, West Pokot, Marsabit and Narok.
Wanga said intervention needs to be put in place to help teenage girls.
“Help us address the problem by reporting people who are interested is to have sex with you at this age. We can’t succeed in curbing teen pregnancies if you don’t participate in the fight,” Wanga said.
She spoke when she distributed bursary cheques of Sh100m to support needy students at Namba Nyokal chief’s camp in Rangwe constituency.
Wanga urged parents to help solve the problem by engaging their daughters in talks about sex and youth sexuality.
“Parents shouldn’t fear talking about sexuality with their children because most of them access information on the n internet. Give them guidance so they don’t get spoilt at tender age,” she said.
It is reported that many teen pregnancies are in Homa Bay caused by defilement. Some happen due to consent by minors while others by peer pressure.
In the company of Education executive Martin Opere, Wanga said, whichever the case, girls who are defiled must report the cases of relevant agencies for necessary action.
“Homa Bay has for a long time led in teen pregnancies but we want to reverse the situation. We want girls to cooperate and do what is right,” she added.
About 20,000 students drawn from villages in all the 40 wards across the county benefited from the funds.
Wanga said the kitty is aimed at ensuring that students from less fortunate families are helped to access basic education without difficulties, noting that due diligence was followed in selecting the beneficiaries.
“The students we’re giving bursaries today were picked by people who know and understand their situations from their villages. The strategy has ensured transparency because only deserving students have benefited,” Wanga said.
The governor revealed that her administration will consider increase the bursary allocation from sh100m toSh200 millio m to cover more beneficiaries in the next financial year.
Opere urged students to focus on studies and discipline.
“For along a long time people who excel in life are the disciplined ones. This also makes students excel in academics,” Opere said.
(Edited by V. Graham)