More teenage pregnancies during COVID as children stay home longer

Aisha is 15 years old and her dream is to be an electrical engineer. This dream however hangs in balance after conceiving and now 3 months pregnant. This is after a sexual encounter with a 16 years old whose whereabouts are not known. In an interview with our reporter, Aisha says the boy responsible for defiling her was a friend whom she occasionally met at the trading center where her mother works. “I used to see him at the trading center in the evenings but I have never seen him again ever since I told him that am pregnant”. Aisha told us. Aisha's mother who sells porridge at the roadside in the evening is right now out of business due to COVID and stuck on what to do to save her daughter's future. "I was also shocked when I found out that my daughter is pregnant. I don't know what to do. I have been struggling to raise my six children singlehandedly since their father developed mental complications". Aisha's mother broke down as she told the story. She says what is hurting is that her daughter's defiler can't be traced and not even his family. “When I found out my daughter is pregnant, I wanted the boy arrested until his family takes responsibility but we could not trace him. I hear the boy is a vendor at the trading center and he took off". She emphasized. She says the children are not safe at home and many girls may drop out of school during this time. "The only way I could keep my children safe was at school. They are very exposed right now...” She said. Aisha is one of the many girls who are currently pregnant and may not return to school if not helped. This comes amid complaints from parents on the dangers that their children especially girls are exposed to as they continue to stay home. “There are men who are taking advantage of our girls. As we send them to shops, and to wells to collect water, they lure them into sex in exchange for money. Something should be done”. One of the parents we interviewed said.

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