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Amuru officials struggle to contain escalating teenage pregnancies, marriages

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Amuru district authorities are struggling to stop the escalating teenage pregnancies and marriages involving school girls resulting from the lockdown.

The district chairperson, Michael Lakony says at least 315 teenage girls mostly from primary schools were impregnated and married off between April and August this year following the close of schools.

However, statistics from Human Rights Focus indicate that 620 girls in Amuru district were impregnated in the period under question. According to Lakony, they launched a community sensitization drive in May this year to stop the escalation of teenage pregnancies but hit a dead end when some parents failed to provide information on the whereabouts of their teenage daughters.

He says some parents have even started soliciting for bride price from those responsible for impregnating their daughters to settle the matter out of court. Lucy Akello, the Amuru district Woman Member of Parliament attributes the escalation of teenage pregnancies to domestic violence and abusive language used by parents which forces girls to opt for marriage.

She says there is need for increased community sensitization on the dangers of child marriages and pregnancies. Joyce Lanyero, the Amuru District Education Officer says there is need for more sensitization among parents so that early pregnancies especially among school girls is eradicated.

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