Uganda internet service providers finally blocked pornography websites in fulfilment of a directive issued by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
Pornhub, Xvideos, and Youporn are among 25 of the 27 banned websites that cannot be accessed on mobile phones in the East African Community (EAC) member state.
The Daily Monitor reports that the three blue-video sites were among the top 100 most visited websites in Uganda before the ban took effect.
Some of the sites were carrying leaked nude videos of Ugandan celebrities and others have been dealing in escort services (those that advertise sex workers).
The banned websites have been providing pornographic material for free.
However, users of Virtual Private Network (VPN) can access the banned sites.
There are also other websites that are acting as proxies for the banned pornography sites.
The chairperson of the Pornography Control Committee, Dr Annette Kezaabu, said there is a drop in the number of people accessing pornography after they blocked the prominent porn sites.
“As I speak, we have a team that is compiling a list of other porn sites that will be blocked,” Dr Kezaabu told the Monitor.
“We anticipate that some people will open up new sites but this is a continuous process.”
The list will be sent to UCC that will order internet service providers to block the sites, she added.
In July, Mr Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC executive director, wrote to telecommunication companies and internet service providers, ordering them to “ensure that pornographic material is not uploaded or downloaded through its services”.
According to Section 13 of Uganda’s Anti-Pornography Act 2014, a person shall not produce, traffic in, publish, broadcast, procure, import, export, sell or abet any form of pornography and anyone who commits such is liable, on conviction, to a fine of UShs10m or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.
Dr Kezaabu said the problem will be solved when UCC procures a machine that detects pornographic material.
The ban in Kampala comes a week after Kenya National Examinations Council chairman George Magoha asked the Kenyan government to shut down porn sites in a bid to arrest runaway teenage pregnancies.
On November 29, Prof Magoha blamed the pregnancy crisis in schools on easy access to porn by young girls and boys.
Cases of teenage pregnancies spiralled during this year’s schools’ national examinations, with dozens of girls giving birth during tests.
Prof Magoha also blamed parents for the reported cases.
“The shame that we are getting pregnant girls all over the place implies there is absolute moral decadence among parents and it is a high time we produce children that we have time for,” he said.
He also accused leaders in the country for their failure to talk to girls about family planning, saying it is high time to introduce reproductive health lessons in schools to help curb the menace.