Gulu has registered up
to 4,477 cases of teenage pregnancies within a period of eighteen months. Statistics
from Gulu City and district probation departments indicate that the cases were
registered between January 2020 and June 2021.
The victims are from the twelve sub-counties constituting Gulu district and the
two divisions of Gulu City. A report compiled by Jessica Anena, the Probation
Officer of Gulu district indicates that 2,932 teenagers were impregnated in 2020 while 1,545 got pregnant between January and June 2021.
In 2020, Gulu City registered 1,768 cases of teenage pregnancies and another 922
cases this year. Gulu district registered 1,165 in 2020 and another 629 cases in January
and June 2021. Anena told URN mid-last week that this is part of the 17,588
pregnancies registered in Gulu within eighteen months.
Anena decried the alarming teenage pregnancies in Gulu, something she
attributed to poverty, lack of parental care and guidance, domestic violence, lockdown,
moral decadence and closure of learning institutions.
Ballingtone Ongwech, the Gulu District Health Secretary noted with concern the
upsurge in teenage pregnancies. He, however, noted that the district and city
leadership have resorted to strengthening awareness creation and sensitization
against sexual abuse.
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Brenda Aromorach, the Gulu District Field Officer for Forum for Women in
Democracy (FOWODE) says that the numbers of teenage pregnancies are alarming. She
called on stakeholders to join hands to stem such vices, saying that early
pregnancies do not only endanger the health of the girl but also subject them to
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Evelyn Lanyero, a child rights activist in Gulu City called for tough penalties
against those sexually abusing young girls. She called for sexual education to
empower young girls to protect themselves.
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The Acholi Paramount Chief, Onen David Acana II and Acholi Muslim District
Khadi, Sheikh Musa Khalil have both denounced teenage pregnancies and called
for child protection.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc