Police in Lamu have raised concerns over increased cases of child defilements and early pregnancies in Hindi and Kiunga in recent days.
County Police Commander Muchangi Kioi noted that many cases of early pregnancies and child defilement are reported to his office, particularly from the two divisions since the beginning of the year.
He said many girls have dropped out of school due to early pregnancies which subsequently lead to early or forced marriages.
Mr Kioi said they have launched massive campaigns to educate the communities in the affected areas and the rest of the region in a move to ensure the cases are eradicated.
The police commander warned those engaging in sexual relationships with schoolgirls that their days are numbered.
He encouraged Lamu residents to always report such cases to security agencies and asked the police to ensure all reported cases are properly followed up and prosecutions initiated.
“We’ve realised that cases of early pregnancies and child defilements are on the rise here in Lamu with Hindi and Kiunga divisions topping the list of regions where the vices are rampant. We’re doing all we can to change the status because it’s not pleasant. We’ve already sent our officers to schools where they have been talking to pupils on matters to do with early pregnancies, drugs and other vices. Our target is to have the vices eradicated among the Lamu communities,” said Mr Kioi.
Lamu County Child Protection Officer Aziz Sadiq blamed parents for late reporting or failing to report altogether whenever their children are sexually assaulted.
Mr Sadiq said many cases are reported too late when any useful evidence that would have been used to prosecute the offenders has already been tampered with.
He appealed to all residents in the county to be on the lookout for any sexual assault on children and promptly report them in order to enable fast arrests and prosecutions of the offenders.
He said it will be tough to win the war on child defilements and early pregnancies if the Lamu community fails to fully defend the vulnerable and, in this case, children and schoolgirls.
“Many sexual assault victims and especially children never get the deserved justice since parents don’t report at all or report the cases very late. Some parents even opt to hide such serious acts of crime. Such a behaviour frustrates efforts to seek justice for the victims of such acts in Lamu,” said Mr Sadiq.