In Alebtong District, a concerning issue has come to light in the recently released district status report, which reveals that over 10,191 girls of school-going age have been impregnated in the district over the past four years. The report, unveiled on October 31, 2023, states that more than 2,000 teenage girls conceive annually.
During a presentation at the Alebtong District Council Hall, Mr. David Kennedy Odongo, the LC5 chairman, emphasized that child sexual offenses have become a critical issue affecting the area’s development. According to him, the issue of teenage pregnancy and child marriage has been a cause for concern since 2019.
Mr. Odongo provided alarming statistics, highlighting that the district recorded 2,549 teenage pregnancies in 2022, 2,902 in 2021, 2,819 in 2020, and 1,921 in 2019. These numbers underscore the severity of the problem and the need for immediate action.
He pointed out that early pregnancies among girls pose significant threats to the nation, as it could lead to increased health-related challenges. Additionally, many of these girls may not have the opportunity to continue their education, ultimately becoming dependent on the state. Mr. Odongo stressed the importance of addressing child sexual offenses to prepare girls and children for a better future.
He called upon the police and the government to take this predicament seriously and urged them not to ignore the issue. He emphasized the need for collaboration and communication between all stakeholders, including the police, to solve these problems collectively.
Ms. Dillis Faith Aol, the Alebtong Inspector of Schools, identified poverty as a major factor contributing to the problem of teenage pregnancy. She explained that parents often struggle to provide school fees and essential items for their children to stay in school, leading to some girls dropping out.
To combat this issue, Ms. Aol mentioned engagement meetings where parents are educated about the importance of education. They are also taught about various income-generating activities like agriculture to help them support their children’s education. These efforts aim to alleviate the financial burdens faced by parents and ensure that more girls can access and complete their education.