The Children’s Department in Machakos has alleged that about 4,000 schoolgirls below the ages of 19 have been impregnated in the county in the last 4 months alone.
Addressing the press in Machakos town on Wednesday, Children’s Department Officer Salome Muthama said the incidences have increased following the COVID-19 pandemic which led to school closure.
According to a breakdown provided by Ms. Muthama, Masinga sub-county has 104 cases of pregnancies of children between the ages of 10-14 and another 601 cases for those in the 15-19 age bracket.
Athi River has seven pregnancies for minors aged 10-14 and 561 for those between 15-19; Machakos has 48 (ages 10-14) and 259 (ages 15-19); Yatta has 10 (ages 10-14) and 462 (ages 15-19).
Ms. Muthama accused parents of neglecting their children and urged them to step up in their role saying a majority of the cases involve close relatives.
She further challenged the Judiciary to provide the Children’s Department with legal advisors who can help speed up the cases saying most of them are languishing in child correctional centers due to lack of court representation.
The Machakos County government has since however refuted these figures saying they haven’t been verified, further asking for proper investigations to be done.
Education CEC Lazarus Kivuya said “it’s impossible to have such a big number within the last few months,” adding that hospitals are better placed to provide the correct figures since that is where “most deliveries are done.”