By Moses Alinda
ARUA: Arua district leaders have urged locals to educate their children and join hands in the fight against rampant school dropouts and teenage pregnancy in the district.
The call was made recently during the thanksgiving ceremony of Afande Draniku Eria Maxwell, who was promoted to the rank of assistant superintendent of police in the recent police promotions.
The function that took place at Ajia Primary School in Ajia Sub County, Arua District, attracted both political and technical leaders who used the platform to advocate for a drive against teenage pregnancy and school dropout.
Jina Sitaraya, the community development officer in Logiri sub-county who also heads the Uganda women’s entrepreneurship program and the youth lively program in Arua district, says the rate of teenage pregnancy has been caused by a number of issues ranging from poor parenting to uncontrolled discos and drug abuse by some children, which has made the community give up on the children.
She says Arua, being at the border with porous or open borders, sometimes fails to implement some of the laws after the children run to the Congo for other activities.
An example is Logiri and Vurra sub counties, where when discos are stopped in Uganda, children instead cross to dance in cong due to the nature of the borders.
Sitaraya says there is a need for all the stakeholder groups to join hands and fight the vice together as a community.
Ayikobua Cosmas, the area councilor for Ajia Sub County in the district, who doubles as the vice chairperson, says as leaders, they have conducted sensitization with learners and reminded the parents of their responsibilities.
Adriko Yovan, the Member of Parliament for Vurra County, urged parents to always pardon and advise their children in case something goes wrong.
Adriko says marriage is not the solution to teenage pregnancy, but the children should be sat down by the elders and advised accordingly.
In his homily, Reverend Father Robert Ojama, the parish priest, expressed worry about the increasing number of early marriages and teenage pregnancies.
He says the children may be a problem in the future since they are not being raised in the right way.
He asked the community members to desist from teenage marriages and marry at the right time and age.
Meanwhile, Paparu Lillian Obiale, the woman member of parliament from Arua district who was the chief guest, also condemned the issue of teenage pregnancies.
She said she has started a program with women to see how they can reduce the vice.
In his speech, assistant superintendent of police Draniku Eria Maxwell thanked his parents for the struggle they endured to make him what he is today.
He pledged total support to the fight against school dropouts and teenage pregnancies in Ajia subcounty and Arua district at large.
In the recent statistics from Arua district, Logiri and Vurra were the leading sub-counties with the highest number of teenage pregnancies, followed by Arivu and Ajia, respectively.
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