The Tale Of Young Grandmother In Kasese Distrcit

The Tale Of Young Grandmother In Kasese Distrcit

BY INNOCENT KIIZA

When I meet Oliva Mbambu the youngest grandmother at 25 -years in Kitsutsu 1 village Munkunyu Sub County ,  Bukonzo East constituency in Kasese district.

Mbambu gave birth at age of 15 years, she hoped her daughter’s story could be different from hers. But 14 years later her fear was confirmed, her daughter at 11 years then, got pregnant making Oliva Mbambu a grandmother at 25 years.

she had gone to garden for evening harvest and her daughter who was pregnant at age of 11 years ran way after hearing us asking for her  mother.

Muhindo jesca a daughter to Oliva Mbambu seated at their home house

At first we thought her daughter has ran away fearing to share with us her story but later after 15 minutes she came with her mother.

Mbambu’s leaves in humble homestead, composed of un plastered semi-permanent house; with Banana planation,goats, hens, ducks , naked and half naked children loitering /playing around.

Mbambu Narrates

Mbambu sheds tears as she narrates that she was in primary five at Kitsutsu primary school after losing her biologically father who was her only hope and got pregnant at age 15 years after her mother could not afford the school fees and scholastic materials. This however didn’t go on well with her mother, and she had to go and start a living with the husband.

Starting a family young age with new person whom, you  was not born with was not easy because situation could get difficult all the time and worsen as she starts experiencing motherhood fatigue, meanwhile her Husband was young too and student but managed to accept her and started staying at their family house. The according to Mbambu meant that she couldn’t make decision like any other pregnant woman on what to eat but to feed on what in law has cooked.

The situation worsen as family members started to conflict over family property and her husband decided to sell his share and buy far away where they relocated and built their semi permanent house were they settled now with their 6 children, her two daughters and three boys.

She says her daughter ended up being teenage mother after her aunt’s husband raped her at age of 11 years and seamlessly the man ran  way but  I am taking care of my grandson and my daughter too.

Mbambu’s  to survive, she cultivates on their family land and she takes the supply to market as they husband is also carpenter , who keeps making stools ,chairs and other items to people for survival.

She added they invaded into rearing of local goats, hen and ducks to supplement on their small income and school fees for her children in lower classes.

“I want these young ones to have a bright future and I know this can be through Education and I pray if someone can come to our aid and help to support and educate her to complete school” Mbambu with tears narrates.

She notice that was uncertain that her daughter was raped and fell pregnant because they were going through financial constraints as family.

“During that period, my young sister had come here requesting me to allow my daughter to go and help her at her home since she was weak after operation during delivery, as family we couldn’t refuse because we knew she is her aunt and could take care of her” she adds.

Mbambu recounts how she was told that her daughter might have been raped by her aunts husband and could not believe until her sister brought back her daughter with pregnancy and they exchanged bitter words.

Yodesi Masika has similar story. She gave birth to her first child, a daughter when she was 15 years. Fourteen years later, at 32, she became a grandmother. Her daughter became a teen mother at 16 years.

“I was so disappointed when my fate befell my daughter too. I had high hopes in her and that is why I enrolled her in schools that after completing she can also help others” she said with distant look.

During the period that my daughter got pregnant, she had got to her father village, and my business was not doing well and her father was drunkard, so we were therefore unable to provide for basic needs for our children. This might have pushed her to get involved in sexual intercourse.

Masika recalls how she fell pregnant the first time she engaged in sexual intercourse. “It was challenging, especially because I was impregnated by fellow student. I had to drop out of school and get married same man as my fellows continue with their studies.

This is why I was disappointed when my daughter fell pregnant at young age says mother of six.

Masika, who is vendor at Munkunyu trading center , says she just wants the best of her child and that is why she calls on any good wisher who can help to support her get back to school.

While sharing with Masika’s daughter if she could go back to school, she confirmed that if she get second chance to school and chase her dream of being a teacher , because that was her dream before.

While at still in Masika’s house, we were informed about Aidah Mbambu in Kanympra, she is 32 –year-old grandmother, she confused that she got married at 17 years to her husband willing and she loved him.

Aidah became grandmother at 32. Having had her first child at 17 years, she never imagined that 11 years later she could be holding a grandchild. She now hope her grandson will not suffer the same fate as his mother and many young mothers in district

“Young girls should be sensitized about having intercourse while schooling, some teens think having boy friend is cool, unfortunately, they drop out of school while boys continue with their education” Aidah said

The three young grandmothers represent thousands others in the district. Most are left with burden of providing for their families and caring for their grandchildren as their teen daughters go look for jobs. All the victims they know the men who impregnated their daughters but they can’t provide.

“My daughter disclosed the husband’s name and family but reaching there, the poverty level was extremely and I didn’t bother them, I decided to come and cater for my daughter until she delivered, paid all expenses” Aidah mentioned with un happy face.

Kasese Distict gender based violence report indicate that Munkunyu sub county has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Bukonze east constituency in Kasese district with over 26 percent of  adolescent girls become pregnant  .

SAVING THE YOUNG MOTHERS

The Kasese District community based Officer, Queengonda Asiimwe, says most of the causes of the teenage pregnancies is result of violence in families, where parents start neglecting their children and their roles.

She added that most cases of teenage mothers are those from families that had young mothers before and were also affected.

She says strategy should be changed from response to elimination strategy if the challenge of teen mothers and pregnancies is to be controlled. As government we focus much on response after the occasions and forget to eliminate the problem before it multiply.

In 2013, Uganda was ranked 16 among 25 countries with the highest rate of children who get married at tender age.

The in-charge Kasese municipal Health centre James Mwiruwabo said that frequently cases of teenage mothers coming to deliver with those ages 14-17 dominating come from sub counties around and they stay with relatives as they wait for delivery.

He says that most of the young mothers coming to deliver are always accompanied by their young grandmothers and they come when they don’t have even what to use, situation which sometimes makes nurses work difficult to handle. Most of the teenage mothers when you them if they had consented while having sex, some are defiled by relatives, rape “ Mwiruwabo said 

Kasese central police station last year , according to the spokes person Rwenzori East division Sp Nelson Tumushime, registered 114 sexual gender based violence cases where 2 were rape,38 aggravated defilement, 72 simple defilment,2 indecent assault and 53 are in court, 51 still under investigation and 10 were under prosecution.

Most of these cases lack concentrate evidence and this hinder prosecution, where other are negotiated within families and they few reported are got from the post station posts in sub countries.

Ronald Kato executive director of the Kasese youth link Development, says Munkunyu sub county in Bukonzo East constancy teenage pregnancies is mainly driven by poverty among families.

“If one has a daughter and it happens that has been impregnated, that person thinks of getting dowry without bothering about the education and future of the child” Kato says

Some families look at girl child as an exchange of goats as material gains and educating a girl child as wastage of resources, an act which he condemned.

Kasese Youth Link Development (KYLD) is community based organization started by youth in 2013 after realizing that efforts of youth to combat early marriages among children, orphans and other disadvantages groups of people like young grandmothers who live in the community to grow up in good health condition and acquire basic needs skills to enable them live more successful life in the community and partner with UK AID, UGANET, Reach a hand,Caritas and Justice center.

KYLD has trained 191in apprenticeship training and 2092 adolescent 14-24 years has acquired psychosocial support male 716 and female 1376 youth under catering department have initiated income generating projects to empower the young mothers and fathers.

Safe space and local health clinics run by international organization such as the un population fund(UNFPA) are the only place of refuge for survivors.

This violence takes a toll at a global level, too. Studies shows the estimated cost of violence is somewhere between one and two percent of gross domestic product(GDP), ending violence against women is essential to achieving gender equality, one of the sustainable Development Goals.

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