Nwoya, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Authorities in Nwoya district want more sensitization drives in relation to ending teenage pregnancy. During Sunday’s MTN Uganda’s sponosred Acholi Heritage Bicycle Race at Anaka Town Council, local leaders used the race to raise awareness on the increasing sexual abuse, especially among the youths.
Records from Nwoya Central Police Station indicate that five defilement cases are recorded on a weekly basis. The district has also been highlighted among the districts with high teenage pregnancies.
Robert Okello, a representative from Ker Kwaro Acholi, said whereas sensitization drives on high teenage pregnancies have been done in the recent times, the trend hasn’t changed much.
Okello said that most times people listen but don’t want to act on issues which affect the future of girl child.
“We need to begin putting into action these sensitization messages that we as Ker Kwaro Acholi and MTN are spreading. We can end teenage pregnancy in our communities if we start acting by teaching our children good morals,” Okello said.
Christopher Omara, the Nwoya Resident District Commissioner, who spoke to our reporter on phone said more sensitization drives need to be conducted so that the message of ending teenage pregnancy sinks into the community.
Omara said that, deep in the community, people still have very bad perceptions towards the girls who are oftentimes married off at tender age just because they have shown signs of growth.
“Deep in the community, people still want to marry off their girls because their breasts have grown, which actually is not maturity. We need to change this perception, and am grateful that MTN and Ker Kwaro have shaded light on it,” Omara said.
Nwoya district’s race attracted 21 people, 6 female and 15 men racing to win Shs 500,000.
Robert Opoka, riding 30km in 43 minutes won the race, receiving Shs 500,000 and Samuel Otema came second, winning Shs200,000.
In the female’s category, Jackline Aol finished first, while Sophie Akot Prossy finished second winning Shs 500,000 and Shs 200,000 respectively.
The winners said they will use the money to meet the educational needs of their children as they await for the grand final slated for March 12th.
MTN Uganda’s partnership with the Ker Kwaro Acholi in the bicycle race competition is hinged on an ongoing partnership signed in 2019 but delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
The agreement entails MTN Uganda working together with the Ker Kwaro leadership to support the chiefdom’s efforts to uplift the socio-cultural welfare of the people in the Acholi sub-region through jointly undertaking health, education and sports initiatives.
MTN Uganda has in the past year undertaken initiatives in health and education in the Acholi region such as the refurbishment and kitting of the Cwero Health Center III Maternity ward in 2019 as well as constructing a classroom block Kuc Ki Gen PEAS high school in Lamwo District.
MTN Uganda is also sponsoring a football tournament in the Ker Kwaro Acholi dubbed MTN Odilo Ker Football Tournament that kicked off on 15 January 2023.