Security agencies in Narok have raised a red flag over a spike in teenage pregnancies, with more than 100 primary and secondary school candidates reportedly pregnant.
Reports from schools and health facilities showed that 120 teenage girls will sit their KCPE and KCSE exams while pregnant, said Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde.
Mr Masinde, who is also the county security committee chairman, spoke during an education stakeholders’ forum in Narok town. He said the teenage pregnancy trend was worrying and should be addressed before it gets out of hand.
“So far, we have 72 active defilement cases in court and my office will continue working with the Judiciary to ensure impregnators/defilers face the law,” Mr Masinde warned.
He urged locals to be vigilant and report culprits to local authorities.
The forum was attended by local leaders, led by Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu, Senator Ledama Ole Kina and other elected members of Parliament from the county.
Even with the bad news, Mr Masinde said the rate of teenage pregnancy in Narok had dropped from 40 per cent to less than 30 percent, attributing the decline to public awareness campaigns.
“Despite the fact that we have made tremendous improvement in our bid to end teenage pregnancies, so much more needs to be done for us to reach zero teenage pregnancies,” he said.
Teenage pregnancies in Narok are intertwined with female genital mutilation (FGM), which is still rife in the county as many locals still believe that girls must undergo the cut in puberty to become women.
The 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey ranked Narok the top county in teenage pregnancies at 40 percent.