By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Government of Kenya has announced that forty-four per cent of school-girls almost certainly will not be reporting back to school in January due to pregnancies.
The National Parents Association says Narok, Kilifi and Kakamega counties lead in cases of teenage pregnancies.
The association said 44 per cent of Narok school-going girls were pregnant, leading to fears of a massive dropout rate when schools reopen.
The Association’s vice chair Sarah Githinji said female genital mutilation.is the main contributor to teen pregnancies.
“Once they undergo the cut, the girls feel they are mature. This has been worsened by motorcycle operators who have contributed to the majority of these cases, ” she said.
Githinji said 38 per cent of Kilifi schoolgirls are known to be pregnant and 36 per cent of Kakamega girls.
She said reported numbers of child and teen pregnancies were low in Lamu, Embu, Nyeri, Wajir and Isiolo.
The number of registered cases of pregnancies in Lamu is 1, 285, in Nyeri it’s 2, 508, in Isiolo it’s 2, 851, she said.
Githinji said most girls were made pregnant by close relatives and fellow students, complicating a worrying situation.
On abortion, Githinji said Nairobi county had 47 teen pregnancies known to have been aborted by quacks, putting girls’ lives in great danger. The actual number is not known.
“Nairobi is leading in the number of abortions, which are being carried out in the back streets. We have seen the number of missing teenage girls in the county also rise, ” she said.
The vice-chair said staying at home had adversely affected pupils and students and the coming months will be trying.
“These students have been exposed to s3x, drugs and alcohol at a very tender age and definitely schools will have a hard time in the first few months, ” she said.
Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo said the situation had taught them that students are safer at school than at home.
While at home, Maiyo said, pupils and students had been exposed to s3xual exploitation, early marriage and recruitment into militia groups.
The problems go beyond pregnancies. Child labour has increased, so has malnutrition as vulnerable learners are not getting free meals, Maiyo said.