The Government has banned night celebrations in West Pokot County following increase in teenage pregnancies and early forced marriages among young girls this festive season.
West Pokot County Commissioner, Apollo Okello pointed out the Kwara Kwara dance that is normally done during harambees and other ceremonies was leading to immorality and prostitution among young girls in the region.
Since the dance became popular, there has been a steady increase in the number of girls dropping out of school due to early pregnancies, leading to early marriages.
It is the dance style that gave it the name Kwara Kwara, where young women clad in traditional Pokot pleated free-flowing skirts known locally as Lorwa with boys where they dance with their skirts swinging in the air. The dance is usually performed at night during parties and harambees.
The dance that originated from the Sabei area in Uganda is common in North and Central Pokot Sub Counties.
Speaking in Kapenguria, Mr Okello cited that the dance has contributed to early marriages and school drop outs among girls in West Pokot County.
He urged locals not to allow youths in the villages to hold this dance as it is really derailing the gains made in educating children, especially the girls.
“Let people have celebrations during the day till 6 pm. The night dances are catalysts to the increasing numbers of early pregnancies and early marriages in the area,” said Mr. Okello.
He advised parents to look after their children during this long December holiday.
“It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that girls are safe. Let’s work together to save girls from the vices,” he said.
The County Commissioner directed chiefs in the area to ensure no child fails to return to school next year because of early pregnancies and early forced marriages.
“We don’t want our children to fail to go back to school on 23rd January, 2023. We want chiefs to ensure all children in his or her jurisdiction go back to school,” he said.
West Pokot Deputy Governor Robert Komolle blamed the provisional administration for encouraging the Kwara Kwara dance.
“The Government should put measures in place to curb the dance. Chiefs should ensure that the dance is no longer there in their areas,” he said.
He said that it was wrong for young children to engage in night dances.
West Pokot County is among counties with a high rate of teenage pregnancies at 29 percent more than the national figure of 18 percent.