Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi wants the sexual offenses Act amended to allow men who defile young girls be dealt with ruthlessly to help address the teenage pregnancy menace in the county.
This comes after the County made headlines for having over 13,000 cases of teenage pregnancy this year alone.
Kingi who spoke during the official launch of the 16 days of the Activism against Gender based violence in the country said the rising number of teenage pregnancies was shocking noting that the future of girls should be protected at all cost.
He took issue with the provincial administration for abetting the vice by being lenient to sex offenders.
He attributed the increased cases of teenage pregnancies to lack of moral by parents who nowadays fail to play their parental role.
“Poverty is not to blame , there are other areas with high poverty levels than Kilifi yet the cases are not there, it should not be an excuse,’’ he said.
To end the teenage pregnancies he said parents must play the leading role of protecting and bringing up their children well.
“The 13,000 girls we got are the ones who had the courage to go to public hospitals, there are others who feel ashamed to deliver in hospitals and give birth in the villages, there is a possibility that the number is bigger,’’ he said.
Gender and youth affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Rachael Shebesh on her part said the law should be tough on those behind teenage marriage and early pregnancies.
The event also saw the County government unveil a 24 hour hotline number 1195 for the public to report any cases of Gender Based Violence.
The launch of the national event was organized at Matsangoni Primary school in Kilifi north Sub County, which has reported the highest cases of teenage pregnancies that stands at over 3,000.