Poverty and lack of parental responsibility have been cited as the major reasons for a rise in teenage pregnancies especially during this COVID-19 period.
Thirty girls from one location in Baringo County became pregnant, and while the numbers are still rising, area leaders are concerned that the numbers could be more as most cases are not reported once identified.
Pregnancy is always carried with pride, but for the few young women in Baringo it is not the case. It is unfortunately a reminder that they are teen mothers, how they got here, has a lot to do with the difficult circumstances in their lives.
“Mzazi hakuna kitu anafanya utapata analala asubuhi hadi jioni, pombe na mchicha ndiyo iko hapa kijiji, si ati hatuwaheshimu wazazi, ni vile tu sasa hawawezi kutusaidia sisi watoto,” says an 8-year-old pupil.
“Jamaa alininunulia chupi ya ndani, akanipea mia mbili nikanunua skirt, akanipea tena mia mbili niknunua shati…so huyo ndiyo atanisaidia,” adds another.
A situation that has pushed them to do what it takes to acquire necessities they so much require; at whatever cost.
According to these underage girls, some of their friends have more than three men. While one fulfills a certain need, the others get to fulfil the rest.
All the girls have to do is sexually engage with the men who are either boda boda riders, businessmen and sometimes their fellow schoolmates.
A majority of them have opted to get married as a way to escape the poverty at home.
And as village elders, chiefs and other parents engage these young girls on how best to resolve their issues, there still remains a challenge as some among them have found themselves at the mercy of men who have forced themselves on them.
“Wasichana wengi hawajui ata mimba ni ya nani, wasichana wanafaa kureport hizi cases ndiyo tuwachukulie hatua wale wanawadhulumu,” said Perkerra Assistant Chief Martha Chebii.