The Government, through the Department of Children in collaboration with Catholic Relive Services, is in a process of launching Child Protection Information Management System (CPIMS) to manage data on children affairs.
Speaking during an Advisory Committee meeting held at the Mt. Elgon Sub-County Headquarter, Sub-county Children Office, Geoffrey Musoko, revealed that the plan was in its final stages to the realization of the project.
Musoko noted that the children website would contain all national data related to the protection of children.
On a click of a button, one can be able to get information across the country on matters concerning children including the number of children neglected, defiled, molested or abused in any manner since it will be updated on a daily basis, as well as legal measure taken on each case among other information, he noted.
The Children Officer said organisations dealing with matters concerning child protection were undergoing training in various part of the country so that they could be well versed with the (CPIMS)
He noted that the approved organisation would in collaboration with the Children Department open an account so that they could be able to report cases and engage in matters concerning child protection.
The officer further noted that Bungoma County was among the few counties that would be used to conduct a pilot program on (CPIMS).
A member of area Advisory Committee, Hesbon Naibei revealed that from the data at the Children Department, police and health facilities indicated that child pregnancy and defilement were still rampant in Mt. Elgon Sub-County.
KNA established that at least three cases per week were reported either at the Children Department, police or at health facilities across the Sub-counties.
Naibei further revealed that major causes of these cases were that most parents had failed in their parenting responsibility.
He noted that most of the incidences happened when the children go for night dances at funeral ceremonies commonly referred to as disco matanga.
Naibei called upon the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination to stop such night ceremonies with immediate effect if the community would want their children to have a future.
According to the Sub- County Education Officer, Alice Shitawa most cases were not reported hence difficult to keep data.
She regretted that when such incidences were reported, most of them ended up in an out-of-court agreements.
You will find that most perpetrators are neighbours, family members or people well known to victim and so out-of-court settlements are made, she said.
The Education Officer said another challenge facing child protection was the reluctance or failure of the victim to speak out or record statements since most of them are taken to hide-outs or ‘exiled’ to neighbouring Uganda.
Rev. Harry Bowen, who is also a member of the Committee blames boda boda operators for being at the lead in perpetrating such offences.
These young men have easy money and on a daily basis, they take advantage of the money to lure young girls into sex, he noted.
Bowen appealed to police to arrest and prosecute such cases if and when reported.
The Clergy expressed concern over shortage of organizations working with children in the Sub-county, noting that they were very few hence the need for other groups to come on board to protect the children.
He also noted that the Sub-county does not have any charitable children institution hence whenever there were abandoned or neglected children, the only nearest rescue centre could be found in Kanduyi Sub-county.
In concurrence, Musoko admitted that on several occasions, the Department has sought services from charitable children institutions from as far as Kisumu.
Bowen further called for review of Sexual Offences Act 2006, stating that the law favoured girl-child compared to the boy and there was need to have them equal before the law.
Chairman of SOET organization in the Sub-county dealing with orphans and venerable children Christiana Nyongesa said that there was also some challenges in acquiring birth certificates to some orphans.
Nyongesa noted that most of the children they deal with in their organisation lost their parent during the 2007/2008 tribal clash and some were unable to get the required document such as copy of father and mother Identification Card.
In a quick intervention, the Assistant County Commissioner, Lameck Edward said his office would work with the Civil Registrar, Chiefs and there Assistants to find ways of assisting the orphans to get the vital document.
Source: Kenya News Agency