Bodaboda riders, stepdads fingered over rise of teen pregnancies in Trans Nzoia

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 3 Aug, 2021 19:43 | 3 mins read
A pregnant girl from kinyoro area. PHOTO/RICHARD SAKAH

Trans Nzoia County is among the counties recording an increase in teen pregnancies with the current statistics being 18 % of it is teenagers being pregnant with majority trying to procure abortion.

According to county government figures, 11,842 girls were impregnated during the long COVID-19 holidays with 1,100 being impregnated during the last six months alone.

This led to interior CS Fred Matiang’i to ban the famous disco matangas (funeral night vigils) and directed chiefs and their assistants to arrest all the men who were implicated with the vice.

Some of the girls interviewed have since regretted their actions and have been asking for a second chance to return to school.

“I was cheated by a boda-boda rider in our Kapsietwet village promising me heaven on earth, but when I conceived, he ran away from their home.   And I have been searching for him everywhere to no avail,” narrated the heavily pregnant girl.

Heavily pregnant teen from Kobos area in kwanza sub-county. PHOTO/RICHARD SAKAH

Another girl from Keiyo Farm in Kwanza sub-county also narrated how she was defiled severally by her step-dad leading to her pregnancy.

“My mother remarried after differing with my father and we moved with her to her new husband, but life has not been rosy. The man I am supposed to respect as my dad has been creeping into my room and having sex with me. Efforts to thwart his advances have been met with threats” the girl said.

This comes as Kwanza sub-county police commander James Odera launched an operation to curb the exploitation of children in selling liquor.

“We have noticed that a majority of locals were using their children, especially girls, to sell alcohol which leads to sexual involvement leading to an increase in cases of pregnancies,” Odera said.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel as several women leaders have taken it upon themselves to try to reverse the numbers of those affected.

One such initiative is being propelled by an organization called Esther Homes for Teenage Mothers.

According to its Director Pauline Mwangi, the plight and the suffering of expectant teenage mothers, who were shunned by society are severe.

“There are many girls who have been impregnated and have lost course in their lives and we are looking for a way to empower them,” Mwangi said.

The home has so far helped more than 300 girls whom they support after having delivered their babies to return to school and complete their education.

“We are currently having eleven teenage mothers in our custody and working to help them assimilate with society with the advent of Coronavirus, leading to an increase in cases,” she explained.

Paulin Mwangi, Director at Esther Homes which rescues teen mothers. PHOTO/RICHARD SAKAH

Mwangi says that most of the girls are between ages 15 and 19 who fall into the trap.

She adds that they rely on local schools to rehabilitate the mothers who would have been seen as failures in life.

“Our nearby schools such as Naisambu accept the girls and we have seen great improvement as the girls are determined to turn around their lives,” Mwangi said.

Their efforts have been supplemented with women leaders led by Immaculate Shamala and nominated MCA Ann Wanjiku who talk to teenage mothers on how to tackle their future lives.

“We do roundtable talks with the girls on how they can handle their lives and their children. We give them hope and assurance that all is not lost including looking for funds to get them essentials including sanitary pads and baby stuff,” Shamala said.

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