Leaders: Homa Bay’s teenage pregnancies alarming, need multisectoral efforts

Homa Bay County Governor Gladys Wanga addressing teachers at Kokoth Primary School during Rachuonyo Branch AGM early this moth. She pledged to support the EYE sector fully. PHOTO/Stephen Misori, Scholar Media Africa,
  • Even though the sub-county has always posted excellent results in national examinations, learners in this region undergo untold misery and frustration. 
  • Collins Oyuu, the Secretary General of KNUT, asked teachers to discharge their duties with integrity and professionalism.
  • Dr. Joyce Osogo, Homa Bay County Women Representative, asked men to keep off school girls since it robs them of their well-deserved future. 

When the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Rachuonyo Branch, held its Annual General Meeting earlier this October at Kokoth Primary School in Rachuonyo North Sub-County, it was expected that teachers would focus on issues that affect them directly. 

This was informed by the hue and cry on the high cost of living, delayed school capitation and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) deductions.

The 1 October AGM came in the wake of fresh calls by Early Years Education (EYE) teachers to the county government of Homa Bay to offer them permanent and pensionable appointments.

Even though the sub-county has always posted excellent results in national examinations, learners in this region undergo untold misery and frustration. 

Lingering concerns

According to a report commissioned by Homa Bay County Government and carried out by the Overseas Development Institute and LVCT Health with support from UNICEF, gender inequality, difficulties in accessing social services and high poverty levels are responsible for the high rates of unintended pregnancies in Homa Bay County, Kenya.

This report, however, fell short of declaring the region as a completely complex region where learners, especially girls, deserve social, emotional, psychological and career guidance.

The shocking report never missed the attention of both county government and national teacher union leaders as girl child education, teen pregnancies and high rates of school dropouts became major talking points during the meeting. 

The report, titled, A Situation Analysis of Homa Bay County, Kenya, highlights that 33 percent of adolescent girls aged 14 to 19 are mothers or are pregnant with their first child, almost twice the national average of 18 percent. 

Sickly youth

Shockingly enough, it shows that youth aged 15-24 contribute 13 percent of the total number of HIV infections amongst 15 to 49-year-olds in the county.  

Speaking at Kokoth Primary School during the branch’s AGM, Collins Oyuu, the Secretary General of KNUT, asked teachers to discharge their duties with integrity and professionalism. 

KNUT SG Collins Oyuu addressing teachers during Rthe AGM. He asked teachers to be faithful to their profession. PHOTO/Stephen Misori, Scholar Media Africa.

He warned teachers against seducing school girls, terming it unethical and the teacher’s union, KNUT, won’t defend sex pests. 

He challenged teachers across the nation to defend learners, especially girls who have become vulnerable to sex pests.

“It is regrettable that some teachers have become evil. They should leave our children alone and focus on educating them. 

These young girls have a future to build and teachers are great partners in this endeavor. 

We shall not support or defend teachers involved in immoral practices with our girls in learning institutions. Teachers should not have sexual relationships with their students,” Mr. Oyuu warned teachers.

Transactional sex

Homa Bay County has had a rough time containing the runaway social and moral fabric, due to the odds against such a campaign, exposing adolescent girls to early marriages and transactional sex. 

Teenage girls were identified as vulnerable due to peer pressure, societal demand for early marriage, high poverty levels pushing them to transactional sex, and inadequate information about reproductive health.

Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay County Governor, who graced the Branch AGM, echoed Mr. Oyuu’s sentiments on sex pests. 

She asked teachers to support the Education of both boys and girls since it was the only way of ensuring social equality. 

Teachers of Rachuonyo, led by SG Oyuu (second left), welcome Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga (second right) during the AGM. PHOTO/Stephen Misori, Scholar media Africa.

Governor Wanga reminded teachers that their success is pegged on the success of the learners under their watch.

Improvements needed

The governor decried the poor conditions of the Early Year Education (EYE) centers within the county, promising to do all within her power to improve the department’s infrastructure. 

Wanga said that her government has embarked on a series of development programs, majorly focusing on infrastructure. 

The county chief asked teachers to be patient since she has already kickstarted the building of 6 classrooms for every ward in every financial year. 

The governor also announced her government had approved the confirmation of at least 1,000 EYE teachers to permanent and pensionable terms beginning January 2024.

“My government has embarked on a six-classroom strategy for every ward, which will see our Early Year Education (EYE) learners access Education in a learner-friendly environment. 

We must give our children the very best. At the end of my first term, I would have built 17 classrooms per ward. 

This is already work in progress and I call upon all teachers to support my ‘Genowa’ agenda,” Wanga told teachers.

No-go zones

Dr. Joyce Osogo, Homa Bay County Women Representative, asked men to keep off school girls since it robs them of their well-deserved future. 

She asked the Ministry of Education to focus on reproductive health education, career education and guidance. 

The MP expressed shock at the dramatic rise in early pregnancies amid an increase in poverty levels. 

She asked parents to provide counseling services to their children without necessarily delegating such crucial responsibilities to the teachers.


“There are increased cases of defilement of underage girls in Homa Bay County. The activity is widespread during holidays, as many of our school-going girls access the beaches to engage in fish trading. 

Most of these cases go unreported due to fear of retaliation or stigma,” Dr. Osogo said.

She reminded parents to lead exemplary lifestyles since children are great imitators. 

She hit out at parents who call children names, charging that there is power in a name and they become what they are called. 

The girl child education crusader asked parents to redeem the dignity of their girls in order to excel in their studies. 

According to Dr. Osogo, girls need the support of their parents or guardians in order to realize their full potential.

New data from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) indicates that without access to reproductive health and critical sexual information, comprehensive sexual Education, and reproductive health services, including the use of contraceptives, there will be an increase in unintended adolescent pregnancies. 

“It is a shame that defilement and teenage pregnancies are issues we still have to deal with in this time and age. 

The teachers of this branch should rise to the occasion and help us contain this sorry state of affairs. 

It is the responsibility of all of us to pronounce ourselves on this issue that has derailed the progress of girl child education in our county,” said Martin Opere.

He is the county’s Chief Executive Committee Member in Education, and he had accompanied the governor. 

Rolling back

The IRC believes the failure to address key reproductive health concerns could roll back decades of progress on girls’ Education and gender equality. 

In return, it says, it will escalate to maternal deaths and increased incidents of school dropouts.

The latest Kenya Demographic and Health Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows Homa Bay County, alongside Samburu, West Pokot, Marsabit, Narok, and Meru, as having the highest rate of teenage pregnancies.

Rachuonyo Sub-County teachers celebrate during this year’s AGM. PHOTO/Stephen Misori, Scholar Media Africa.

 MacDonald Obudho, the Director General of KNBS, while releasing the report, stressed on the need for an enhanced health reproduction campaign in the country, explaining that 38% of girls without Education were found to be pregnant, whereas 20% of girls with basic Education were also found to be pregnant. 

The study, however, established that only 5% of the girls in secondary schools were pregnant.

The survey comes in the wake of recent reports of Homa Bay County having the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country.

Homa Bay County’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) is estimated at 583, compared with the national average standing of 488 and Kenya’s least deprived regions that have rates below 200.

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It is only clear that the government should support healthcare facilities to enable residents to access quality healthcare.

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Mr. Misori holds a Bachelor's degree in Education Arts, English and English literature from Mount Kenya University. He is the author of the book ''Village Under Siege'', a book reviewer, and a science journalist passionate about environment, health, climate change, education and agriculture. His email address is misori.village@gmail.com


  1. It’s a quite despicable endeavors and a costly vice for several score years now. Girl-child is tantamount to respect as discerned and yearned for.


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