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Bungoma-Finland sign pact to combat GBV

Bungoma County government has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Finland that will see the County receive over Sh700 million towards prevention of gender based violence in the region.

The three-year bilateral programme aimed at strengthening, preventing and responding to Gender related Violence (GBV) incidents in Bungoma.

The signing was officiated by Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, Governor Kenneth Lusaka and Finland’s ambassador to Kenya Pirkka Tapiola at Kibabii University

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022 report, Bungoma County takes the lead in Gender Based Violence cases at 60% and also leads in teenage pregnancies.

According to CS Jumwa, there has been a sharp increase in violations against the rights of women, men, boys and girls since COVID 19 outbreak.

She said that the trend has continued way beyond the climax outbreak period and the rise of intimate partner violence is of greater concern now more than ever.

The CS said that the bilateral programme seeks to leverage on inter-country and national innovative approaches to end GBV and invest more on community-based home drawn solutions.

”The aim is not to just increase reporting but to ensure communities understand individual and community cost of any form of GBV and the legal and policy implications of perpetrators and supporting systems.” The CS stated

In addition, the CS stated that duty bearer coordination gaps identified through the inception of the phase will be key to better reporting, improved prevention interventions and more effective responsive plans.

Ambassador Tapiola indicated that the programme was officially launched before the outbreak of Covid 19 targeting the three counties of Bungoma, Kilifi and Samburu.

Anne Ndiema from Mt Elgon who is a GBV champion, pointed out the adverse effects of FGM on women’s health including fistula and complications while giving birth.

She appealed to the county government to build a rehabilitation centre for affected victims to go back to school.

KDHS figures shows that 34% of women in Kenya have experienced physical violence since age fifteen compared to 27% of men.

The findings further indicated that Bungoma led in the number of women who experienced physical and sexual violence GBV incidences at 62%.

Governor Lusaka stated that the bilateral programme offers a unique and collaborative model between the two levels of government and reaches out to members of communities in ensuring that families and communities are safe.

Also at the function were Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga and Township Member of County Assembly Jeremiah Kuloba.

By Roseland Lumwamu 

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