It was joy for parents in Bungoma County has over 800 Teenage Girls returned back to school.
The school going girls in both primary and secondary schools had been put into mother’s way by several groups of men while others had been married off by their parents.
Confirming their return back to various schools, Bungoma woman representative Catherine Wambilianga attributed it to good relationship between her office and the public.
“Members of the community reported the cases to my office, inturn my officers swung into action together with the children office, local administration and education officers and we were able to help them to get back to classes,” she said
Bungoma is amongst the counties with the highest number of teenage pregnancies according to statistics released recently.
Speaking in Tongaren constituency, Wambilianga pointed out that boda boda riders are amongst the highest number of people who are the casualties of the vice.
The legislator stated that over 6,000 girls had been impregnated since Covid-19 disease hit the country in March 2020.
She pointed out that Kenyan students stayed at home following the closure of schools to minimize the spread of the deadly global pandemic hence it was a fodder for young girls to engage in sex hence getting impregnated.
“There are those who have given birth and there are those who were impregnated later on, we have engaged experts to guide and counsel them, some returned to school after delivering,” she said.
Wambilianga furthermore added that the victims can play an important role in the society once they have acquired the needed education level,”.
She called on parents to check on their teenage girls and ensure they are safe and contended to avoid being lured around by young rich men.
“Am also asking young teenage girls to be very strict with their lives, young men will impregnate you and run away once they realize their mistakes, don’t be easily cheated around, sex is sweet when you are employed and working with a huge salary,” she added.
Such incidences of early teenage pregnancy have been rampant in Bungoma county with the region leading in the last year’s released secondary education results.
A girl child rights defender Immaculate Puma blames poverty to teenage pregnancies.
She says a majority parents are unable to provide basic needs for their daughters hence they are forced to seek for them elsewhere.
“Men especially boda boda riders take advantage of the girl’s poverty to molest them sexually, they end up being impregnated and a majority girls drop out of school due to such vices,” she said.
High rate of pregnancy among school girls in Bungoma County is worrying parents, the government and other education stakeholders.
During the release of 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha was disturbed by 43 girls who gave birth or were expecting while sitting their examinations from the region.
Magoha stated that 652 KCSE teenage girls were impregnated in the country and it was a worrying trend if not handled well.
During the release of results Bungoma was followed by Meru (38), Nakuru (36), Kisii 32 while Nandi had 23 pregnant girls.
The early pregnancy stories has also led Elimu Yetu coalition to move with speed and sensitize parents and teenage girls to reduce the high rate being witnessed.
According to the organization’s coordinator Elizabeth Owiti, poverty is the key point why teenage girls are falling prey to rich men in exchange for money to buy basic women things like sanitary pads.
Ms Owiti stated that they were empowering parents and school girls to reduce the high rate of pregnancy in the devolved unit.
“Covid-19 pandemic and poverty has led to increased cases of teenage pregnancies, parents should play their roles while their young daughters should also concentrate in their studies instead of being confused around by boda boda riders,” she warned.