By Ojok Emmanuel

Omoro district leadership has called upon partners to support its campaign aimed at reducing the increasing cases of teenage pregnancies in the communities. Speaking during this year’s national commemoration of the World Population Day held at Bobi Polytechnic grounds in Bobi Sub County, Omoro district the district chairperson Douglas Peter Okello said, “We urge Government of Uganda, development partners, MP’s to support us in the campaign that we have launched, Go to school, Stay at school and Finish education”.

According to Omoro district woman MP Catherine Lamwaka, the struggle calls for a deliberate intervention from government.

United Nations Population Fund Country Representative, Alain Sibenaler spoke about a campaign targeting fighting child marriage. “In partnership with the National Population Council and with the Ministry of Health, we are implementing a nationwide campaign called Live Your Dream. The campaign is rallying Ugandans of all ages about the importance of preventing teenage pregnancies, gender based violence and HIV infection especially among young people”, said Alain.

The Dutch Ambassador to Uganda, Henk Jan Bakker stressed the importance of investing in educating girls. Jan Bakker said, “The World Bank estimates that investing in girls’ education and ending child marriage could generate 3-billion dollars per year for Uganda by 2030”. The development partners have reiterated their commitment to supporting Ugandan government quality service delivery to its citizenry.  Henk Jan Bakker, who also represented the EU delegation at the function, said the government of the Netherlands will continue cooperating with the government of Uganda to achieve national development.

Uganda’s Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati warned men and boys over ruining the future of the girl-child. Bahati said, “Men and boys please stop impregnating young girls. It is not good for the girls; it is not good for our community because there are complications that come with it. You should stop”. According to the latest findings, the current teenage pregnancy rate in Omoro district stands at 28 per cent per annum compared to the national average of 25 per cent.

During the celebration, the Chairperson of the National Population Council Prof. Fred Wabwire-Mangeni said the theme, Leaving No One Behind: Improving Service Delivery and Accountability, was relevant in ensuring quality population.

Vice President Edward Ssekandi represented President Yoweri Museveni and enumerated various forms of developments attained by the NRM government in the last thirty years. Ssekandi said the government will not leave anybody behind in its bid to achieve the middle income status. President Museveni directed district leaderships to use the local radio programs to promote girl-child education and other government programs aimed at alleviating poverty.

The first attempts at promoting girl child education in Uganda were made by the 1963 Castle Commission. The Commission highlighted the need to expand girl’s education in the country. Since then many government interventions like the National Strategy for Girls education and the Promotion of Girl’s Education and several other programmes have been implemented to ensure that more girls access formal education. Government is committed to delivering vision 2040 and the NDP-II goal of transforming Uganda into a middle income country by 2020 through cooperation with the Development Partners. End