A consortium of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) involved in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) has asked the Kilifi County Government to speed up the enactment of a GBV-specific policy.
The Gender-Based Violence Network (GBVN) says the fight against the vice in the county would only be achieved through a policy that would enable players to fight the menace collaboratively and in a coordinated manner.
Steve Kioko, a Project Officer with the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), a member organisation within the network, says his organisation has already drafted a policy on behalf of the network and presented it to the county executive in charge of gender at the County Government of Kilifi for onward transmission to the county assembly.
He however, expressed concern at the slow pace on the process of enacting the policy and urged the County Executive Committee and the County Assembly to speed it up.
“We have already spent close to Sh.1.2 million to sensitise Members of County Assembly (MCAs) but the process has been going on very slowly, hence the need for the county executive to speed up the matter and hand over the document to the assembly for processing,” he said.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting of representatives of GBVN member organisations to validate a joint reporting tool for the vice on Wednesday, Kioko said incidents of GBV had become rampant in the county and needed urgent action.
“There is urgent need to stop the rampant incidents of rape, domestic violence, sodomy among other abuses, and this can easily be achieved through the implementation of a GBV-specific policy,” he said
Kioko said only Meru County had enacted a GBV-specific policy and hoped that Kilifi would be the second to approve the bill in order to curb the menace.
He urged members of the public to report any cases of gender-based violence in their areas in order to eradicate the menace.
During the meeting held at the Malindi Deputy County Commissioner’s office, members of the network validated GBV common reporting tool, a case record sheet and client referral form as well as a work plan for the first quarter of 2020.
In order to enhance data collection with a view to making it easy to understand current statistics of GBV for proper planning, the members said they would collaborate with the Kenya Police Service, the health department, the Judiciary and area chiefs among other stakeholders.
By Tomas Mbaya/Emmanuel Masha