Trans Nzoia authorities to look into high number of teen pregnancies

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Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Sam Ojwang speaking to the press
Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Sam Ojwang (centre)

An investigation to ascertain how over 1000  girls in primary and secondary schools drawn from the five sub-counties in Trans Nzoia County were impregnated, and the conditions that led to the rise in teen pregnancies during the past seven months when schools were closed has commenced.

A student who is six months pregnant from St. Philip’s Grassland Secondary School in Saboti sub county, a school situated in the remote areas of the constituency, while speaking at the County children’s office said that she was impregnated by a man she knew very well. She said the man told her he would giver her money to buy basic necessities and invited her to his place. When she reached his house, he changed tune and coerced her to have sex. “I didn’t know things would turn out this way since it was my first full encounter with the man, though we had met and talked before but just for short periods,” she said.

She said she first met the man while he studied at the Kitale School of Nursing at Kipsongok trading centre on a normal evening. “I remember his face well because we met severally at the Kipsongok trading centre (after the first meeting) during the evening hours,” she said. She urged other girls not to fall prey to men who are only out to use and dump them, adding that she is now being ridiculed by teachers and friends.

She, however, pledged to go back to school to further her studies once she gives birth stating that her dream is to become a neurosurgeon. “My grandmother and guardians have encouraged and assured me that they’ll take care of my baby when I return to school,” she said.

County children’s coordinator Aston Maungu said the teenage pregnancy cases that are spread across the sub-counties are alarming and called for action. He said the students affected shouldn’t be stigmatized and urged parents, guardians to spend time with them and counsel their kids. “We have given a directive that proper counselling be done for girls who need the encouragement so that they don’t end up in the current tricky situations,” he said.

According to the Trans Nzoia County commissioner Sam Ojwang, no pregnant girls have been chased from school. He said the government will track down all those who impregnate the school going girls.

The cases have triggered reactions from different leaders, with the County woman representative Janet Nangabo calling for speedy investigations into the crisis, with the teen pregnancies still on the rise. She said her office will offer psychosocial support and encourage them to continue with their education, “The large number of cases show there is something wrong in the County and all stakeholders must rise up to stop this madness,” she said.