By HARRIET MUGO
A massive 741 school girls in Narok County are pregnant with some impregnated by fellow male pupils.
The County Director of Education Jane Njogu said 332 girls in primary schools are pregnant while another 409 students below the age of 18 years are pregnant in secondary schools.
She added that Narok South was leading in girls’ pregnancy with 149 girls, followed by Narok Central at 140 while Narok West sub-county had 124 pregnant learners.
Other sub-counties where such incidences have happened include Trans Mara West, 81, Narok North, 60, Narok East, 66, Trans Mara South, 67, and Trans Mara East sub-county with 54 pregnancy cases.
“I believe the problem with our society is with the culture that allows girls to engage in sex after they undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM),” observed Ms. Njogu.
She reiterated that some principals are not willing to disclose the number of pregnant girls in their schools and instead collaborate with the parents not to reveal the men responsible for the pregnancies.
Education stakeholders will conduct a one-month Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) drive with the aim of arresting and prosecuting perpetrators of defilement.
The decision was reached during a consultative meeting at the County Commissioner’s boardroom that was presided over by Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde and attended by eight deputy county commissioners, the County Director of Education, and the County Director of Gender.
Also in attendance were the senior counsel from the Office of Public Prosecution, the County Police Commander, representatives from the Judiciary, the County Director of Health, the County Children Officer, and the County Information Officer.
Narok County Health Director Francis Kiio said approximately 900 girls visit various health facilities in the county for their first antenatal clinic every month.
“This means there are 900 new cases of pregnancy among girls aged below 18 years every month. Some of these girls are still in school while others have dropped out of school,” he said.
County Commissioner Masinde directed the education department to champion the creation of guidance and counseling sessions in all schools where the students will be taken through thorough sensitization programmes.
“The number could be more as we believe many cases are not reported. This is very scary and we all have to bring our efforts together to eradicate girl pregnancy,” said Masinde.
At the same time, the stakeholders raised concern over the sad cases where minors are impregnated by fellow minors.
“We must start engaging the school principals and head teachers closely so that they too can know they have a responsibility of guiding the young children on sexual matters,” he said.
Already 66 people have been remanded while 90 other people have been convicted by the courts for defilement in the county.
In the year 2014, Narok County was captured in the Kenya Health Demographic Survey as the leading county with teenage pregnancy cases at 40 per cent against the national average of 18 per cent.