Parents blamed for teenage pregnancies
Parents in Ganze, Kilifi County have been blamed for the hundreds of teen pregnancies among their daughters and the never ending cases of defilements and sexual harassment of minors in the region.
Area children officer Mr. Daniel Mbogo said Wednesday that if the trend was not addressed, the number of girls getting married at an early age at the expense of education will continue to increase.
He said the region is currently facing a crisis because parents have abdicated their duty of caring for their daughters, causing the young innocent girls to associate with wrong peer groups thus adopting loose morals.
Mbogo said his office records ten cases of child defilements, incest and sexual harassment among minors in the region every month noting that his concern was on parents who did not take care of their daughters.
“We have even talked about this during court users’ days; many parents lodging defilement cases, then fail to attend to court and eventually the cases get terminated for lack of evidence. This is an obstacle to addressing the challenges in Ganze,” he said.
A week ago, Ganze MP Peter Shehe told an education stakeholders meeting at the Sub County headquarters in Ganze that the constituency was trending dangerously after recording 4,600 cases of teen pregnancies since the beginning of 2017.
“The main culprit in this scenario is young boys, who are also still depending on their parents for their upkeep. What we want is for the parents to take their responsibility with seriousness and make sure that children accorded all their rights including education,” he said.
Shehe asked parents to keep tabs on the movement of their sons and daughters as a measure to end this problem; in the past, old and wealthy men were blamed for the vice unlike now when young boys prey on the underage girls to engage in unsafe sex.
Sauti ya Wanawake Ganze chapter chairperson Judith Uchi said despite numerous campaigns to sensitize the locals on the dangers of teen pregnancies and early marriages, the vice has not ended but is getting deeply rooted day by day.
“In 2016, we reported more than 100 cases of defilements to the children’s office. Some of the culprits were arrested and charged in court. Unfortunately some of the cases were terminated for lack of evidence,” she said.
Uchi said some families conceal these incidents or use kangaroo courts to try to address the same, a situation she said was negatively impacting on the fight to end teenage pregnancies.
By Harrison Yeri