NGO raises alarm over sharp increase in teenage pregnancies in Tana River

Roba Kuni, a resident in Madogo, with his daughter.

WomanKind Kenya (Wokike), an NGO based in Nothern Kenya, has raised alarm on the rising cases of defilement, teenage pregnancy and early marriage in Tana River County.

Wokike CEO Abdullahi Mohamed noted that although the practice is notoriously common, there has been a sharp increase in teenage pregnancy reports.

Mohamed said that the 2-month long December holiday saw the students become idle, a factor that intensified the complex issues that drive teenage pregnancy and early child marriage in the poverty-stricken region.

He was speaking while presenting a report on the level of gender-based violence at a symposium in Madogo.

Mohamed added that there was a lot to be done concerning the vices terming them as a breach of human rights.

“A total of 356 girls got impregnated in the period and this means that many more are losing their educational opportunities and becoming vulnerable to violence and emotional abuse,” said Maryam Sheikh Abdi.

She regretted that if the matter is not addressed on time, the human-induced pandemic will become more grievous.

Maryam said that one of the solutions being offered was introducing Tae Kwon Do training to girls to keep them occupied in their free time and as a way to curb cases of defilement.

“We have laws in place and have made arrests but the perpetrators end up walking scot-free after mediations in kangaroo courts,” said Mohamed Lokha, an administrator in Mororo location.

Lokha lauded Wokike for their efforts on highlighting the ills facing girls in the region and called on stakeholders to come together and raise awareness about the scourge.

By Amoto Ndiewo

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