LIRA – The Bishop of Lira Diocese Rt. Rev. Sanctus Lino Wanok says the vice of teenage pregnancy and child marriage in Lango Sub-region calls for a concerted effort to address the situation.
Rt. Rev. Wanok made the observation in an interview over the reality of teenage pregnancy and child marriages in Lango, the region of his area of jurisdiction where he was installed as Bishop four months ago.
He made the remarks following a concern raised by the Chairperson of Dokolo District, Frederick Odongo and other local leaders in the region regarding teenage pregnancy and child marriages, citing the Sub-counties of Agwata and Kwera as areas with rampant cases.
He attributes teenage pregnancy and child marriages to the current tendency of parents not adequately imparting Christian based moral values to their children.
Last year, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga expressed the need for Parliament to address the growing number of child marriages in most rural areas such as Eastern and the Northern parts of the country.
Kadaga also reminded the MPs to respond to the UN Women call for all MPs to ensure that they put up something in their different constituencies that can help the children remain in schools.
According a recent report, three in ten Ugandan girls have their first child before their 18th birthday; more than a third marry before the age of 18. Indeed both child marriage and early childbearing lead girls to drop out of school prematurely.
The survey summarised that many girl children are married off at the age of 15, while at least 40 per cent are married before they are 18.
By 2014, 61 per cent of Ugandan children below the age of 18 years had been married.
Despite government’s effort to offer free primary and secondary education, the rampant cases of early marriages have derailed the primary school completion rate among girls in most regions of the country