Machakos County has recorded at least 4,000 teenage pregnancies during this period where school children are at home.
The shocking data released by the Machakos Children’s department painted a grim picture of the threat to girls education and future.
In March, similar concerns were raised in the coastal region, where it was reported that minors had suffered from abuse amid the ongoing pandemic.
Fifteen teenage girls, with some as young as 13 years were impregnated and some married off in Kisauni, Mombasa County.
Girls’ lives in danger
“One case involves a Class Four pupil. Families hard hit by the pandemic and with no source of income have been trading off their girls to some well-off people as wives,” County Children Coordinator Philip Nzenge said.
“There are many more cases that might have occurred and have not been reported. We are asking local administrators to ensure that we get details on all cases involving girls being married off or impregnated,” he added.
World Vision in a report warned that coronavirus could put an extra 4 million girls at risk of early and forced marriage.
The reports noted that increased poverty caused by the pandemic is likely to add further financial burdens to families, causing them to marry off their daughters early.