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Region records high cases of teenage pregnancy and motherhood

WESTERN
By Nathan Ochunge | December 19th 2018
Matungu MP Justus Murunga condemned high rise of school girls pregnancy cases. [Benjamin Sakwa/Standard]

Many underage girls, some as young as 10 years, have fallen into traps set by exual predators in Western region.

According to a recent survey by the Ministry of Education, Busia, Bungoma and Kakamega are among the counties with the highest burden of teenage pregnancies in Western.

The survey found that the victims’ ages range between 10 and 17.

In some instances, individuals who pass themselves off as guardians to these girls have been found to be the culprits.

They prey on the girls and turn them into sex objects, while threatening them with dire consequences if they dare report them.

Guardians, parents, teachers, trusted relatives and boda boda riders are the main sexual predators. Some of the girls lure the young girls with freebies; free rides, sweets, chips, good grades, among other things.

According to the survey, most of the girls have had their dream of going to school and earning a good living shattered. After falling pregnant, many opt for early marriage.

Anne Naliaka (not her real name), 14, sat this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination while she was seven months pregnant.

Her boyfriend in Form Two was responsible for the pregnancy.

HIV positive

“We started having unprotected sex last year. Little did we know it would result in  pregancy. Now I am a disgrace to my family,” said Naliaka.

Angela Wafula (not her real name), 15, also sat her KCPE this year while pregnant. She hails from Bungoma

She gave birth to a baby boy two days after the exam, through caesarean section.

Wafula revealed that her step-father used to defile her, when her mother was away from home. He would threaten her with dire consequences if she dared report him to anyone.

Sixteen-year-old Naomi Wesonga (not her real name), a Form Two student in Matungu sub-county, gave birth a week ago.

She said she had a sexual relationship with a Form Three student, which resulted in the pregnancy.

Sadly, Wesonga discovered she had contracted HIV during an ante-natal clinic when she was seven months pregnant.

Rogue chiefs

“Both my boyfriend and my baby are HIV positive,” Wesonga told The Standard.

Most of these cases have been reported in slum areas, town centres and in sugarcane growing places.

According to the survey, street vending and illegal brewing of alcohol, drug abuse and poverty have contributed to the pregnancies.

Matungu sub-county is particularly affected in Kakamega. Between January and March 2018, at least 30 school girls were discovered to be pregnant in the area.

Chiefs have been accused of abetting the vice. They charge culprits in Kangaroo courts and convince parents to let the matter go unpunished.

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