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Don’t marry off young girls in the pretext of drought, warns DCC

Moyale Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner Stanley Too has warned area residents to desist from marrying off their teenage daughters in the guise of drought.

Speaking at Dabel Town, Too noted that poverty levels in the sub-county have risen due to the ongoing drought, but this should not create a window for parents to marry off a girl at a tender age for dowry, at the expense of their education.

“Most parents in this area depend on livestock as their source of income and due vagaries of the prevailing drought, chiefs, their assistants as well as village elders should be keen to ensure that all underage girls are safeguarded to pursue their academic dreams, and not be married off in exchange for livestock,” he said.

The deputy county commissioner urged communities living in Moyale to embrace an alternative rite of passage, so as to allow the girl child to continue with her seamless education without undue interference.

He noted that the retrogressive cultural practices embodied in FGM and marrying off of underage girls, which were rampant in the area, go hand in hand, but had no benefit at all to the contemporary girl-child.

Too was accompanied by the Moyale Children’s Officer Patrick Ndirangu among other departmental heads.

Speaking during the same function, Ndirangu told residents that that the law was very clear on both FGM and early marriages and anyone found abetting the twin illegal vices will be dealt with accordingly.

“Even any other person out there, who knows the two vices are being practiced and does not report is also guilty of an offence,” warned Ndirangu.

FGM and marrying off of school going age girls is common among pastoral communities living in upper eastern region of the country, which is practiced undercover to avoid the law.

By Gatana Muchira

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