A section of leaders from Kilifi County yesterday called for a concerted effort in addressing teen pregnancies in the county.
Speaking at Karisa Maitha grounds, the leaders under the ‘restore Kilifi dignity’ banner said the number of young girls getting pregnant in Kilifi is devastating and action must be taken to stop the trend.
They said the statistics that were released on the number of teenage pregnancies paint a bad picture of the county.
Led by Kilifi county assembly nominated MCA Martha Koki who is the founder, the group expressed commitment to stem out the cases.
“We have come together as a group and our aim is to start a dialogue that will inform what actions needs to be taken to stem out these cases. We will move to every corner of the county and engage people on the best way to end this mess. We cannot sit in boardrooms and pretend to know the solution without engaging the concerned people. Our children are at home for two months and if we do not move then the worst might happen,” said Koki.
Koki said the group will raise funds for facilitation from members and has got no plans of seeking funds from external sources.
“This is our problem as a county and we can provide the solutions ourselves. We do not need people from outside to give us solution. This can only happen if we come together as a county. We will not do funding proposals but any person who feels this is a worthy course can join us and make this agenda a success,” added Koki
Kilifi mum’s women group chairlady Kibibi Ali called for harsh penalties for perpetrators.
Kibibi blamed parental irresponsibility as a major contributor to child pregnancies.
“Disco Matanga has caused enough damage to the community but we need to ask ourselves where parents are when their young children are having a field day at disco matanga’s? Parents should take up their responsibility of making sure their children are safe at all time,” said Kibibi
She also called on the government to close all bars and entertainment joints which are in residential areas or near learning institutions.
Kilifi county hospital Medical superintendent Eddy Nzomo confirmed figures recently released to the media as correct.
“People have been claiming that the 13, 000 cases of teen pregnancies is exaggerated. Nothing was exaggerated here and these are government records. If anything the figure is even small because it is data captured between January and October this year. We are in November and still we have cases that were not captured. People should stop the blame game and come out of their comfort zones to see how we will end these cases,” he said.
Kilifi County nominated MCA Hadad Faiswal who chairs the culture and social services committee in the assembly said a Bill will soon be tabled in the assembly that will address issues around gender based violence.
“These cases are escalating and we need a piece of legislation that will specifically address this. The gender based violence Bill is almost ready and I will soon table it in the assembly,” said Feiswal
Birya Menza, accused school heads for concealing cases of pregnant girls in their school to protect the image of the school.
“If teachers could be open and raise alarm of pregnant girls in their schools then we could have known there is a problem and moved to address it at an early stage. We need the government to investigate those schools who did not take action ,”said Menza.