Fourteen — year-old Jane will not be returning to school in Kitgum District of northern Uganda, even when coronavirus restrictions are eased.
During the lockdown, the Primary Six pupil of Mucwini Primary School in Mucwini Sub-county was allegedly impregnated by a 28-year-old man.
The teenager was given Shs12,000 as initial capital by her mother to start selling sugarcane at a nearby trading centre to supplement the family's daily income as she waited for the reopening of schools, which were closed on March 19 to curb the spread of coronavirus.
From her sugarcane business, Jane had so far realised a profit of Shs40,000. She had hoped the money would help her and her siblings to buy scholastic materials when schools finally reopen.
"But having been impregnated, this has not only ruined my future but also the trust that my mother had in me," she narrates as tears roll down her cheeks.
However, Jane is not alone. She is among 2,372 girls impregnated in Kitgum, Ngora, Kyegegwa, Kasese and Lyantonde districts during the lockdown. These figures were obtained from district health and education departments, and the probation and social welfare departments.
At least 128 school girls were married off, with 48 cases registered in Kyegegwa, 60 in Rakai and 20 cases recorded in Kamira Sub-county, Luweero District.
Police records show that 110 girls were defiled in Kitgum, Kiryandongo, Sembabule, Kayunga, Lyantonde and Ntungamo districts.
The mini survey findings are from the districts of Ngora, Kyegegwa, Lyantonde, Luwero, Kitgum, Rakai, Kayunga, Ntungamo, Kayunga and Kasese.