BY JOHNISANI OCAKACON
NWOYA: SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
Ker Kal Kwaro, the Acholi cultural institution, has received a donation of sh22m from the Austrian Development Agency to help the fight against teenage pregnancy and child marriages.
Rt. Hon. Ambrose Oola, the Prime Minister of Ker Kal Kwaro, said the region is experiencing an increasing number of teenage pregnancies and early marriages, a situation exposing danger to the young generation which call for immediate intervention.
He said the Austrians gave the donation through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development following a distress call for support from the cultural institution to fight the vice in the community.
While addressing Acholi Members of Parliament (MPs) in Nwoya District, Oola said since the government imposed a lockdown in March 2020 and closed schools as a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Acholi sub-region have recorded over 15,000 underage girls who got pregnant many of whom were forced into early marriages.
“With this money we are going to sensitize our communities on the dangers of teenage pregnancies and early marriages and as a cultural institution we condemn this act,” he asserted.
He said as a cultural institution they are looking forward to coming up with policies that will guide the community to protect young girls.
Similarly, the Acholi paramount chief, David Onen Acana II called the increasing incidences of teenage pregnancy in Acholi as an insecurity and called on the leaders to combat the problem.
“It is not only these girls being impregnated but also they are contracting chronic diseases which put their lives into danger and may ruin the future of our young generations,” said Acana, who tasked the local leaders to bring to book people who sexually abuse young girls and abandon them to suffer the consequences.
Peska Menya Aciro, the Pader District Woman MP proposed that the cultural institution spends some of the funds to create avenues for alternative jobs for the affected girls so that they are able to earn money to support themselves and their babies.
“Like these girls who have already given birth and are now at home as child mothers. They should enroll in vocational skills training to get knowledge that will help them to start their own life to remain self-reliant.”
The chairperson of Acholi Parliamentary Group who doubles as Kilak North MP, Anthony Akol pledge the commitment of the parliamentarians to work together with the cultural institution to combat teenage pregnancy and early marriages.