By Prisca Oroma
In a bid to end teenage and forced child marriage, key stakeholders from west Nile have reaffirmed their strong commitment to fight and end the vice.
While speaking during the regional conference for CSOs, Members Parliaments, religious, traditional and Local Government leaders from west Nile on ending teenage pregnancy and forced marriage recently at the GAF apartments, leaders from Nebbi, Zombo, Pakwach and Adjumani adopted a declaration as an affirmation of their commitment to fight teenage pregnancy and early forced marriage.
Pakwach district Local Council five chairperson Hon Omito Steen Robert affirmed that as leaders they are going to work together with religious and cultural leaders so that this vice can be fought since it is one of the most devastating social crises yet also a crime that violates the rights of a girl child.
“Recognizing that this vice affects not just the general health of the girl child but reduces her chance for school retention and positive learning outcomes we as leaders in the West Nile region therefore commit to be more accountable and take responsibility for protecting the girl child’’ Hon Omito said.
Rt.Hon. Prince Angala Lawrence the Prime Minister of the Alur Kingdom said that it was depraved that these acts are happening in our communities but it took Plan International to Bring Leaders together to realize the magnitude of the problem.
He said this fight is the fight of all leaders from the grassroots and therefore the kingdom is going to use the available structure to see that the vice is ended and the girls and women are protected.
“this is our fight and we need to come together if we are to save the future generation of our land” he added
The Resident District Commissioner Nebbi Abak Robert stressed that law enforcers are to draw measures and strategies for ending teenage pregnancy early and forced marriage through strengthening their compliance and enforcement of the law for the perpetrators to be put to book because this is no longer a social problem but gross insecurity.
“it’s painful that out of 3883 cases of teenage pregnancy in Nebbi district, only 36 have been reported and 4 went to court. This shows that most parents settle defilement cases out of court.” he noted