Lamu, KENYA: Lamu leaders and residents have expressed concern over the growing number of illicit sexual relations between primary school girls and older men in Lamu East.
Led by Lamu women rep Ruweida Obbo, residents said many primary school girls in the region have been dropping out of school once they become pregnant and abandoned by their lovers.
Obbo has put police officers in Kiunga and neighboring areas on the spot accusing them of being top on the list of men who are fond of having sexual relations with young school girls.
She cited a recent case in which a class four girl from Kiunga area alleged to have been tied and raped by GSU officer and later on gave her parents Sh.20,000 as a bribe for their silence on the matter.
She said the case is just one among hundreds that never get to be reported.
Obbo blamed the security department in Lamu for failing to admit to the weaknesses of some of its officers.
She said many a time senior officers have been helping their juniors who commit such acts to evade justice by delaying or frustrating any efforts aimed at punishing the culprits.
“The education of the girl child in Kiunga risks dying out is something isn’t done to stop the rampant sexual relations between school girls and adults most of whom are security officers.These officers will normally sleep with these girls and run away when the girls get pregnant leaving them to their fate.Many have quit school as a result.The worst part is that any security officers implicated always wiggle their way out and never get to pay for their actions,” she said.
Abubakar Bilul, a retired army general from Kiunga said the major reason that pushes young girls into having sexual relations with security officers and other adults is the immense poverty that many communities in Lamu east live in.
Bilul said many men use money or food to lure the young girls into having sexual relations with them.
The army general has however blamed parents for making the situation worse by allowing the girls to use their bodies to bring in food and money for the family.
“Majority of people in Lamu east are so poor and can’t even afford basic needs in life.That explains why the young girls find themselves having sexual relations for money and food.Parents have stopped fending for their children and it’s now the young girls who peddle their bodies for sustenance.The government should especially investigate security officers who sleep with and impregnate school girls here.Its a crime by law and before God,” said Bilul.
Lamu county Children’s Welfare Officer Maxwell Titima said his officers will visit Kiunga soon to meet with and create awareness on the importance of education for the girl child.
“Its true and we have heard so many cases.We shall be going to Kiunga next week and see what we can do to change the situation,” said Titima.