The Acholi region is experiencing significant sexual and reproductive health challenges like teenage pregnancies, early marriages, HIV and gender-based violence, habits which, according to leaders, have increased greatly during the COVID-19 lockdown, when movements were restricted, while schools and places of worship remained closed.
According to findings carried out by Ugandan Sexual Health and Pastoral Education USHAPE, a non- government organization operating in South Western, 1, 555 aged between 10-17 years are married while 1,754 girls aged between 13-17 years were found pregnant.
Janet Nakisekka, the Masaka District Gender and Social Development Officer, says the unwillingness by the public to report the cases of teenage pregnancies is frustrating the enforcement of established laws against the vice.
The World Bank says ending child marriage today could generate three billion dollars or 10 trillion shillings per year for Uganda by 2030, according to the 10th Uganda Economic Update released today. Titled Accelerating Ugandas Development: Educating Girls and Ending Child Marriage and Early Childbearing, the new Uganda Economic Update shows that notwithstanding a declining trend, one in three girls still marry before the age of 18, whether through formal or informal unions.
A study conducted last year by Uganda Youth Development Link indicated that 40 percent of the girls as young as 13 are married off before they complete their primary education cycle. The study established that parents in the districts of districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko, were marrying of girls in exchange for cows, goats and other household items.
Two men have been arrested in Lira for trying to marry off their underage children to each other. The two men are Tom Onyango (38) and Edward Okello (35). Onyango was trying to marry off his 12 year old daughter to Okello\'s 16 year old son.
At least 127 pupils in Bugiri district have missed sitting for their 2014 primary leaving examinations (PLE) that kicked off today. Majority of the pupils are girls who had earlier registered to sit for the examinations but failed to turn up for the Mathematics paper this morning.
A testimony of a 15 year old child-mother moved leaders to tears as she narrated her ordeal during the launch of â€œEnd child marriageâ€ campaign in Amuria yesterday. Uganda is among the 15 worst African countries with high numbers of child brides. An inter-agency report released in March last year says 46% of underage girls below 18 are forced or lured into marriage, putting Uganda in the 11th position on the list. Niger tops the list at 75% followed by Chad with 72% of child marriages.
A by-law to curb rampant cases of early marriages in Ntoroko district is yet to bear fruits as the district registers more cases. According to the by-law passed last year, parents who marry off their children below 18 years were liable to a fine of 100,000 shillings or a jail term of one month or both.
The bylaw proposes various punishments for different offenders. The bylaw, proposes that parents who marry off their children, below 18 years are liable to a fine of 150,000 shillings or a jail term of two month or both.
Mukiibi, according to the police allegedly, attacked and killed a 70 year old woman, Nansansi Tereza in 2009, and then kidnapped her 9-year old granddaughter (names withheld) at Kiyuni in Mubende district.