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Resurgence of Defilement, Sodomy and Teen Pregnancies Worry Nyanza Leaders

Most pregnant teenagers in Kisumu County were forced into sex by close relatives.

Resurgence of Defilement, Sodomy and Teen Pregnancies Worry Nyanza Leaders

Leaders have expressed concern about the resurgence of defilement and sodomy cases.

Nyamira leaders stated that perpetrators of such criminal activities would be dealt with appropriately.

On Sunday, Woman Representative Jerusha Momanyi stated that they will not remain silent as the lives of young girls with promising futures are destroyed.

“We have been condemning such acts for a long time, and now we want to see more action. Anyone who will be found guilty should face the full force of the law without mercy or pardon,” Momanyi said.

She was speaking about two defilement incidents that occurred in the county in recent weeks. The police are still looking into the cases.

A five-year-old girl who had undergone three corrective surgeries died after a fourth defilement in the case.

According to records at the children’s office in Nyamira South sub-county, a number of defilement and sodomy cases go unreported, depriving victims of justice.

On Tuesday, children officer Billy Adera stated that if such cases had been reported, the majority of the suspects would have faced the law and been prosecuted.

Eleven defilement and four sodomy cases have been reported to the children’s office in the last two months.

So far, 16 cases have been reported to the police, with sodomy not being reported because the suspects’ families have aided in their concealment.

Adera urged members of the public to report such incidents as soon as possible so that appropriate action could be taken.

“The problem that we face while we are dealing with such incidents is that most of the affected families do not report the issue to us in good time so that security agencies can take appropriate action over the same,” Adera said.

As a result of the Covid-19-caused lockdown, most pregnant teenagers in Kisumu County were forced into sex by close relatives.

Victims were harmed by people they trusted the most with their lives, including uncles, aunties, stepfathers, and cousins.

Stakeholders noted that such incestuous acts could not be attributed to consensual sex, with damning revelations that many became HIV-positive.

This revelation was made during the first meeting of the Multi-Sectoral Coordinating Committee, which is transitioning from the County Aids Control Committee to streamline it with devolution in the 47 counties.

The committee, chaired by Rose Nyakwara and secretariat Steve Kathaka, stated that the triple threat of new HIV infections, teenage pregnancies, and Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) remained the “elephant” in the room.

According to the duo, the National Syndemic Control Council launched the nationwide campaign to end triple threat cases among adolescent girls and young women.

“The teenage pregnancies are a proxy-indicator that leads to new HIV infections as well as Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) which partners in the health sector have prioritised going forward,” said Kathaka of the NSDCC.

He stated that the 12,723 teenage pregnancies in Kisumu among those aged 15 to 19 years by 2021 was quite high and a warning sign that proper and deliberate intervention should be undertaken as soon as possible.

Kisumu is one of the high baggage counties, with 15.6 percent new HIV infections and 8.5% teenage pregnancies compared to a projected 5%, hence the committee’s plans to engage the County Commissioner, DCCs, and chiefs.

“However, a major concern for some of the committee members was the fact that some chiefs decided to cooperate with the perpetrators to destroy such cases before prosecution,” he said.

Nonetheless, Kathaka warned that such ‘kangaroo’ courts should not be allowed to thrive because the perpetrators were let off the hook only to brag about their untouchability.

Pastors and Imams, among other religious leaders, were urged to warn the faithful, particularly men, against becoming pedophiles who engage in sex with children and instead seek mature women, or risk being imprisoned.

The members were also informed that GBV is still a crime that is frequently committed against victims, causing untold irreversible damage with far-reaching consequences.

Police officers and members of the armed forces have been singled out for psychosocial support, with the GBV ‘epidemic’ being attributed to stress, a risk factor given that they are frequently armed with lethal weapons.

These are some of the sets of population in need of psychosocial support. Physical, sexual, emotional and psychological violence are the key forms that must be tackled fast through counselling,” he said.

According to the forum, the Global Fund and its partners prioritized Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), which reduces the chances of contracting HIV by 66%, for funding and will be used as an entry point for Health Education.

Kathaka stated that the committee plans to train 72 VMMC champions in Kisumu to spearhead the program ahead of the 2022 World AIDS Day celebrations, which will be held on December 1st, with a focus on the Triple Threat.

While launching the “Triple Threat” program in Meru recently, Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache described the three vices as a silent threat to the nation, particularly among the youth, who are the future generation.

Mochache said it was unfortunate that the country was losing 5,000 young people with great potential to HIV each year, and that the majority of the time they were victims of circumstances such as rape, with 75% of the population under threat.

She claimed that Kenya spends Sh25.4 billion per year on anti-retroviral therapies and HIV testing, money that could be spent elsewhere.

Resurgence of Defilement, Sodomy and Teen Pregnancies Worry Nyanza Leaders


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