By Steven Enatu
Authorities at Kaberamaido district local government are worried of the escalating number of teenage mothers in the district.
Speaking to this reporter early this week, the Gender Officer Kaberamaido District, Rogers Ejotu revealed that last year, the district registered 1560 teenage mothers.
Ejoku said the data was obtained from health centers covering the four sub counties and two town council’s in the district where these young mothers went for antenatal services.
Ochero Town Council takes the lead followed by Kobulubulu Sub County, Alwa Kaberamaido Town Council and Aperikira Sub County Respectively.
“Most of the cases related to teenage pregnancies and child marriages are not reported my office but they are seen in hospitals,” Ejotu said.
He attributes the cases to cultural leaders who marry off the young girls.
“These cultural leaders participate in these marriages but when we try to engage them they say they were not aware,”he said.
Ejotu noted that the child protection committees and para legals need to be re oriented in fighting the vice.
“These structures have been established but very dormant, even these NGO’s come to train them but they are left incomplete,” he added.
He said parents have also produced many children and sometimes fail to provide for them hence marrying them off for wealth.
He stressed that government and non-governmental organizations need to change the approach from advocacy to serious empowerment of the relevant structures.
Ejotu however added that the District passed an ordinance on the 17th of December last year aimed at preventing Gender Based Violence and promoting sexual reproductive health.
He said the ordinance is purposed to relate with the phenomenal situation locally and it’s currently before the Attorney General’s office for panel beating.
The ordinance outlines offenses and remedies.