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Adjumani community seeks school to prevent early marriages

By Andrew Masinde

Added 19th March 2019 02:24 PM

Frustrated residents claimed that the nearest primary schools are between seven to 11 kilometers away and the places have no access routes due to the forested and bushy nature of the area.

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James Leku, the Adjumani district Chairperson. Photos by Andrew Masinde

Frustrated residents claimed that the nearest primary schools are between seven to 11 kilometers away and the places have no access routes due to the forested and bushy nature of the area.

EDUCATION

Refugee host communities in Lotodo Matidi village, Pagirinya Sub County, in Adjumani district have requested government to construct for them a primary school to control early marriages and teenage pregnancies.
 
Frustrated residents claimed that the nearest primary schools are between seven to 11 kilometers away and the places have no access routes due to the forested and bushy nature of the area. The end result is girls getting married off at a young age while the boys become a menace to the community.
 
Margaret Adong, one of the residents says it is risky for a child to travel 10 kilometers through forested areas to school. 
 
“When girls are at home, they spend most of the time loitering around the village. That is where they meet boys and other men who persuade them into sex which results in teenage pregnancy. Even the parents use this as an excuse to force their girls into early marriages,” Adong notes.
 
Joseph Okum, another resident reveals that the district leaders visited the area and promised to construct a school but nothing has been done yet. 
 
Okum says the community has offered four acres of land, noting that they are waiting for any well-wisher to come and construct the school.
 
“One of the issues the officials raised for failure to give us a school was the lack of land, which we willingly contributed as a community. Today we are still waiting for their response. In the meantime, we are going to begin making bricks as our contribution,” he noted.
Another resident, Nelson Ayeck say most of the community members are illiterates because they lacked schools around, which he believes is the reason why they don’t have proper jobs.
 
he land which residents of otodo atidi village in djumani district donated for the construction of a primary schoolThe land which residents of Lotodo Matidi village, in Adjumani district donated for the construction of a primary school

 
He is worried that if their children don’t get an education, they are likely to end up like them.

 
“Children just keep loitering on the villages. Our daughters are forced into early marriages. Some are forced into teenage pregnancies just because they are not going to school. Government should provide a primary school to start with,” he notes.
 
James Leku, the Adjumani district Chairperson says they are aware of the lack of schools in Lotodo Matidi village but their hands are tied because government only qualifies a parish for a school.
 
“Lotodo Matidi is a village hence they don’t qualify to have a school. However, we are trying to negotiate with the sub county authorities to ensure that they create more parishes so that we can lobby with government to put up schools,” he notes. 
 
Leku adds that in a meantime, they have started opening up more access roads in the communities so that children can walk to the available schools without having fear of going through the bushes and forested places.
 
He calls upon humanitarian agencies to give a hand as the district is still negotiating with the sub county.
 

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