Amudat district is currently stuck with 37 Pokot girls below the
age of 18 who were being forced into child marriage.
This is according to the District Education Officer Moroto
Lawot Anthony Lam who was meeting with a section of the Parliament COVID-19 taskforce for Northern Uganda led by
Koboko Municipality MP Dr Charles Ayume.
According to Lawot, between January and July, they have been
receiving cases of girls walking long distances to run away from child marriage. He says most of them are being married off by their parents.
Lawot attributed this to the culture of Pokot, which does
not give children a clear picture of importance of education but also poor
He says that currently even as the girls keep coming in from
different areas of Amudat, their current
needs for food, pads, clothing and general support cannot be satisfied during this period of lockdown. He called on different organizations
to support the girls who are currently sheltered in Kalas girls school in Amudat.
The school is being used as by Amudat district as a rescue
centre for the girls. The shelter is
being managed by Sister Prossy Nantege.
//Cue in: "Of poor parenting...
Cue out: .... which are really"//
The Moroto Municipal Education Officer William Lokiru Isura says
COVID-19 has made the girls more vulnerable in a community that child marriage
has always existed.He says the good thing is that female general mutilation is
//Cue in: “Earlier on they…
Cue out:…marriage still continues”//
Jonam MP Emmanuel Ongiertho says there needs to be a consistent sensitization of parents and residents in
the area on the importance of school, and also messages stopping child
marriage. He says that there is need for consistent community awareness.
He also says there is need to use Karimojong residents who
have made it to join in the campaign and also own it.
//Cue in: “Some people need…
Cue out:…to do something”//
According to reports from the Child and Family Protection Unit of Amudat, there are many cases of children aged from 10-14 years running away from home to escape child marriages.