Rukungiri District leaders and health workers have expressed worry over the influx of commercial sex workers.
Speaking at a workshop organised by Uganda Radio Network at Rukungiri District headquarters last weekend, Ms Christine Kakuru Kyomuhangi, the assistant district health officer, said the situation was triggered by the adverse effects of Covid-19, which include unemployment and school dropouts.
The district has registered 231 teenage pregnancies from the month of January to July.
Ms Kyomuhangi listed Rwerere, Buyanja, Kebisoni town councils and Rukungiri town as some of the hotspots for sex workers.
“For reasons well known to them, people of all age groups and categories are actively involved in buying and selling sex,” she said.
Ms Kyomuhangi condemned the clients of the sex workers for fostering the trade, adding that they are at a risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.
Ms Catherine Tumusiime, the mayor of Rwerere Town Council, said a joint effort towards fighting this vice is required.
“The town becomes full and busy in the evening hours because at that time, people, mostly the youth, leave their homes and come town where they mix with the business community and end up engaging in such evil acts,” Ms Tusmusiime said.
“Minus coming and working together as the district this vice is going to spread to all parts of district because we used to hear such information in towns but now it [the vice] has started entering our villages,” Ms Tusmusiime said.
Mr Julius mugara, a health activist working with Educate Uganda, a non-government organisation that promotes girl-child education, asked government to invest in strengthening the capacity of police and Judiciary to patrol, arrest and prosecute sex traders.
Ms Mugara said the vice would spoil school-going children, increase HIV/Aids cases and unwanted pregnancies.
Mr Elisa Byamungu, the Rukungiri District Administrative officer, said they have already set up an administrative team to investigate the matter.
“We have already sent an investigating team on ground to find the truth of the matter. It is very disappointing to find young and old engaging themselves in sex trade,” Mr Byamungu said.