Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Somewhere in the neighbourhood, 3,900 girls are pregnant in Machakos County alone just some few kilometres from the Kenyan Capital Nairobi. The pregnancies are reported to have occurred during this time of coronavirus. On Wednesday when I first came across the news and shared with my colleagues in the office they could not believe it. They even became mathematicians and started calculating how many girls got pregnant in a day. True, it was not possible that the number could be that much high and we dismissed it as an exaggeration. It was not until I went back to my house and I tuned to a Kenyan channel, Citizen TV that’s where the reality and truth came bear in my face. The Machakos administration and the country were perturbed and worried at that rate in Machakos County alone. The TV showed some photos for girls’ young as 14 years old having been pregnant. My mind came back to our situation and remembered a head teacher in Rumbek who came out and told the country what his fears was all about. The fear was centred on the coronavirus pandemic which had forced schools to close down and which had made it possible although forcefully for four girls who were his pupil to be impregnated, while others eloped to avoid being exposed to pregnancy shame. The teacher was so concerned that if the situation did not change then the worst to be expected. These two cases shows the coronavirus damages on the other side. The effect is and will remain to haunt so many parents whose children are faced with moribund of problems due to this virus. It is even threatening that there is supposedly to be another phase after this one which is already emerging in the Beijing. I am somehow waiting for the results of the summit between the Chinese government and African leaders which was to discuss and come out with possible solutions to the spread of pandemic. Sad as it is, the schools are closed and learning suspended indefinitely. This issue of young girls being on the loose is another pandemic which would be felt for a long time to come. It will destroyed the lives of many promising talents that would have been the shining stars for the future developments of the country and the region at large. The question remains, how are parents required to handle these protruding scenarios amongst our youth. The shock-wave have to be absorbed because there is not solution in sight as each government tries to protect her citizens. Can we hope against hope or what is there? Are we to remain uncertain of the future without hope or solution to the present and the pending problems in the name of coronavirus? That World Health Organization (WHO) has come to recommend a possible cure is encouraging, but should not be a conclusive recipe for comfort. The world must open its eyes.

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