Kwale woman rep Fatuma Masito has launched fresh campaigns against teen pregnancies, drugs and substance abuse in the county.
The campaigns in schools are to sensitize girls and youth against the vices. The program is dubbed ‘Mama county breaks the barriers in Kwale’.
Cases of drugs and teen pregnancies have been rampant and ravaged the region for many years.
Masito said the campaigns are to ensure drugs and teen pregnancies are completely eradicated.
The previous county security report indicated that the increase in indiscipline cases in schools were due to the rise of drug abuse by students.
The children are addicted to a variety of drugs with marijuana, mugoka, miraa, tobacco and alcohol being commonly abused.
The woman rep said the vices are responsible for destroying the lives of many children in Kwale.
She said the future is in jeopardy not unless the problems are firmly addressed and perpetrators brought to book.
“Many of our children are suffering because of drugs and teen pregnancies and we have to act now before things get to worse,” she said.
Masito said she is empowering students especially girls through school baraza talks and explaining to them the dangers of drugs and premature sexual activities.
Recently, a section of religious clergies raised an alarm over the increase of girls doing drugs and joining criminal gangs.
The woman rep said the program will be addressing issues of gender-based violence and offering counseling programs to counter negative social behavior including criminal acts among students.
Due to poverty and poor parental many girls have grown up believing marriage is the only way to escape hardships at home and they would often dream of marriage at a tender age.
The legislator said the campaigns are targeted at enlightening girls of various sexual abuse and their rights to strengthen resilience.
“Many of these things happen because of poverty and we will ensure our children are protected at all costs,” she said.
She said the initiative will play a huge role in keeping students in schools and concentrating on their studies and lead good lives in future.
Masito urged the security team to seal up all the loopholes of drugs and arrest the drug barons as well as the GBV culprits.
She added that the program also aims at empowering women to be socioeconomically productive.
Masito said it entails business training sessions where parents would be engaged on how to venture into small businesses and grow.
She said it is part of the efforts to combat poverty and help women become self-dependent.
Masito also challenged women to be educated and get certificates to effectively compete for equal employment opportunities.
She said it is only a small number of women in the region are educated.
The woman rep also encouraged more women and girls to enroll for science, technology and engineering-based subjects to be part of experts that provide solutions in climate change and engineering.
County Quality Assurance and Standard Officer Hellen Arunga termed the program as part of the solutions to increase the number of students in schools.
She decried that the education level in Kwale is still low and requires more efforts by all stakeholders to maintain the education standards.