Compiled by Beatrice Chebet
Kyaggwe county leaders are concerned about the increasing number of pregnancies and deliveries involving school-age going children due to the prolonged school closure.
At least 127 out of the 1000 girls under the Kyaggwe county (Ssaza) bursary scheme have conceived in the lockdown. Some of the children have given birth to healthy babies while others had stillbirths.
Steven Katabarwa, the Kyaggwe County Commissioner in Charge of Education, says that they documented the cases in August while trying to establish the wellbeing of the beneficiaries of the scheme in their homes.
According to Katabarwa, although the victims are between 13 and 16 years of age, none of the offenders including fellow student, close relatives and uncles, have been held responsible.
Katabarwa is suspicious that the number could be much higher since they were unable to access some of the children because they were away from their known localities.
Kyaggwe County Head alias Ssekiboobo Elijah Bogeere Lubanga Mulembya has appealed to security agencies to intervene and bring the perpetrators to book. He also appeals to schools to give the affected girls a second chance to proceed with their studies.
Sheikh Buruhan Nsubuga, the LC I Chairperson of Kikoma B Village in Buikwe district attributes the increasing number of child pregnancies to child labour and negligence on the part of the parents.
The Director of Children’s Trust in God Initiative in Lugazi Municipality, Ann Mary Atwanyi says that there is a need for more effort to train boys to respect and support the girls in their communities. She also advises the government to introduce skilling classes in communities to keep children busy especially during the lockdown.