KABALE, UGANDA: More than 7,000 underage girls have been impregnated in the six districts of the Kigezi region during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In Kabale district, 2,628 girls were impregnated between March 2020 and July 2021.
Pamela Kembabazi, the Rukiga District Senior Probation, and Welfare Officer says that 71 cases were recorded from July 2020 to July 2021. Kembabazi attributes the rising cases to the negligence of parents.
In Kanungu district, Keti Twebaze, the Kanungu District Senior Probation, and Welfare Officer says that 1,401 cases of teenage pregnancies were registered from January to August this year.
Twebaze attributes the overwhelming number to the ongoing construction of Rukungiri-Kihihi-Kanungu road where workers who are mostly male seduce young girls with money. Twebaze also says that many girls are employed in the tea plantations where there are sometimes sexually abused.
Alex Okwaratuhe, Kisoro District Senior Probation and Welfare Officer says that his office registered 76 cases of girls who were impregnated from July 2020 to July 2021 while in Rubanda, 200 cases were reported July 2020-July 2021.
Joyce Kenganzi, District Probation and Welfare Officer says that the number could be high because some cases are not reported by parents or leaders.
Jennifer Tumusimire, Senior Probation and Welfare Officer for Rukungiri district says that last year, 1982 girls were impregnated.
Moses Bwengye Tumwijukye, Kabale District Education Officer says that as leaders, they struggle to follow up on the cases. He explains that some parents connive with the culprits.
Tumwijukye cites an example of a recent incident at Kavu Primary School in Maziba sub-county when a teacher impregnated a primary seven pupil at the school and later escaped with her to Kanungu with the knowledge of the parents.
Martin Kasagara Kiiza, the Executive Director of the National Children Authority (NCA), a department under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development says that they have intensified efforts of raising awareness in fighting the vice.