NEBBI. The community members of Gute village in Nyaravur sub-county, Nebbi district have attributed the increasing cases of early pregnancy on the laxity of local leaders in implementing government policies.

Speaking during a one-day dialogue meeting organized by Pacego women club in partnership with Uganda women democracy network and OXFAM, a section of the community members criticized local leaders of doing little in implementing policies that should protect the girl child.

The meeting was aimed at addressing the root cause of early child pregnancy in Nyaravur sub-county.

Ms Paska Apio, a mother of three said they see a lot of laxity on the side of their leaders in punishing some business owners who are promoting businesses that are destroying the youth within the society.

She added that failure to regulate night discos, commercial video shows, betting and night markets has put the lives of most children especially the girl child at risk of getting early pregnancy.

“Nyaravur is a town council and video halls operate four times a week. The proprietors do not mind about the age of the girls who enter the halls or how long they spend there and on top, the local leaders have failed to intervene and stop them,” she said.

The project coordinator Pacego women club Mr Patrick Adupa said there is a need to empower families and communities to participate in the fight against early pregnancy among teenage girls.

“Early pregnancy among teenage girls in our society is for real and as communities and stakeholders, the time has come for us to educate our children at an early stage to know the dangers and risks of early sex,” Adupa said.

The area local council one chairperson of the village Mr Alex Ogenrwoth said there is a need for increased awareness and behaviour change among parents, families, and communities on the dangers of early pregnancy.

“As community members of Nyaravur, we need to adopt and uphold our good cultural values and protect our children from activities that impact them negatively” he added.

Reports from Nyaravur health center III indicate that there were over 23 antenatal visits by girls aged between 16 and 17 years in the month of October 2019.