RISE IN TEENAGE PREGNANCIES

Parents, chiefs warned against settling defilement cases out of court

Some parents accept compensation instead of handing perpetrators over to the police.

In Summary

• County commissioner Samuel Kimiti said defilers should face the full force of the law. 

• The administrator said teenage pregnancy has become a huge problem in Bungoma county and something needs to be done urgently.

A schoolgirl
A schoolgirl
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

Parents, chiefs and village elders in Bungoma who collude with defilement perpetrators to settle cases out of court have been put on notice.

County commissioner Samuel Kimiti said defilers should face the law, but some parents accept compensation instead of handing perpetrators over to the police.

He urged parents, educationists and security agencies to work together and report defilement perpetrators to the authorities for legal action.

The administrator said teenage pregnancy has become a huge problem in Bungoma county and something needs to be done urgently.

“Bungoma county is among counties that have recorded a high number of teenage pregnancy cases. I appeal to all stakeholders to cooperate and ensure that our children are safe,” Kimiti said.

Kimiti spoke to the press after meeting with deputy county commissioners, health stakeholders and officials from Amref.

The administrator urged the deputy county commissioners from the 10 subcounties in Bungoma to meet with national government officers to find a lasting solution to tame teenage pregnancies.

Bungoma Central deputy county commissioner Doris Rono asked parents to stop sending their children to hawk on the streets, saying that is when perpetrators find a chance to prey on schoolchildren.

Mt Elgon is leading in teenage pregnancies, attributed to poor parenting, lack of proper guidance, prolonged school holidays due to Covid-19, domestic conflicts, use of drug abuse and eroded societal values.

In 2019, 21 girls between 12 and 14 years and 879 girls between 15 and 19 years became pregnant in Mt Elgon subcounty.

Last year, 900 cases were recorded in Bungoma Central subcounty and in the first quarter of 2021, another 24 cases were recorded.

Rono urged school principals to enhance guiding and counselling in institutions.

Sauti Sasa county and national coordinator Mbuki Mburu said the organisation is working with like-minded entities to address the teenage pregnancy menace.

Edited by A.N