Sembabule. Gombolola (sub-county) chiefs in Sembabule District have raised concern over the increasing number of young girls engaging in prostitution, saying something must be urgently done to reverse this worrying trend.
Commercial sex is a flourishing business in Mateete Town, but many young girls aged between 15-18 are dominating the trade.
Mr Yasin Ssekabira, the Kabaka’s (Buganda King) chief for Ntuusi Sub-county, said prostitution has derailed the fight against HIV/Aids among teenagers in the district.
“We have established that many of those girls are either in school or have dropped out and so desperate to make money through selling their bodies. Some of them even go around looking for ‘clients’,” he said.
The local chiefs raised the concerns early this week during a one-day workshop at the district headquarters on the role of cultural leaders in combating the spread of HIV/Aids at both parish and sub-county level.
Mildmay Uganda, which provides HIV/Aids treatment and support, organised the workshop.
Mr Simon Ssebowa, the Kabaka’s chief for Mateete Sub-county, urged political leaders in the district to join efforts and create alternative income generating businesses to assist girls who are willing to abandon this risky trade.
“Let us join hands and try to persuade these girls out of prostitution. We are worried that many are likely to drop out of school and join prostitution if nothing is done,” Mr Ssebowa warned.
Mr Jude Sekatte, the coordinator of Mildmay Uganda, said they opted to engage lower level cultural leaders because they have a bigger voice in their communities.
“We have trained cultural leaders about HIV/Aids ,and we working on interventional approaches to avert the problem of teenage girls joining prostitution in this area. Our target is to ensure that teenage prostitutes find other businesses to do,” he said.