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Amudat District Stuck With 37 Child Marriage Escapees

Amudat district is currently stuck with 37 Pokot girls below the age of 18 who were being forced into child marriage.
Some of the children who escaped being forced into marriage are shown to MPs

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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 parenting. 

 

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.  

  

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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 reducing.  

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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.  

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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.

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