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FGM board unveils mobile App to fight FGM in Kajiado

The Anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) board in partnership with UNICEF and Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) has launched a new mobile application tool to combat Female Genital Mutilation in Kajiado County.

The mobile App dubbed PASHA will help in reporting and tracking real-time cases of FGM at the click of a button.

Through the App, one can send or share emergency alerts either in texts or voice recording. Once shared, the information is received by the relevant authorities who then respond accordingly depending on the alert received.

Speaking in Kajiado town during the launch, Anti-FGM board Programmes Manager, Nyerere Kutwa said the PASHA App is able to pick one’s location and gives the option of remaining anonymous.

Nyerere noted that the anonymous reporting option would enable many people to share information freely without the fear of victimisation.

He added that the App is now available for download from the Google Play store for free and will be upgraded in the future to enable users without internet to use the SMS platform to reach remote places.

Kutwa further revealed that the PASHA App is aimed at complementing existing mechanisms of reporting cases of abuse against children such as the free child helpline 116 and the National Gender Violence helpline 1195.

“The PASHA App does not in any way replace the existing hotlines, such as 116 for children services or 1195 for gender-based violence reporting, but supplements them to enhance efficient and effective reporting of cases,” he said.

According to Dorise Ng’ong’a, FAWE Kenya Programs Officer, the launch of the App is timely as it comes just before the long December school holidays when many girls undergo FGM and drop out of school to be married off.

Kajiado is the third county after Migori and Samburu to witness the launch of the PASHA App.

Ng’ong’a said the PASHA App will enable real-time reporting of FGM cases thus aiding relevant stakeholders get data and plan accordingly on how to combat the vice.

“We are nearing the long school holidays where FGM cases and early marriages are normally on the rise. The launch of the PASHA App is timely as it will aid in reporting of these cases and tracking them as they happen.” She said,

Kajiado County Commissioner Harun Kamau warned FGM perpetrators that the law will deal with them accordingly.

He noted that FGM was outlawed in Kenya in 2011 and is a criminal offense under the prohibition of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011, the Children’s Act, and the penal code.

Any person who conducts FGM or pays someone else to conduct the practice or provides his premises for it to be carried out is guilty of an offence.

Failure to report the act and possession of instruments used in FGM is also a crime.

Anyone convicted of these offenses can go to prison for a period of between three and seven years, and be fined up to Sh 500,000 Kenyan shillings.

A person who causes the death of a girl through FGM can be sentenced to life imprisonment.

By Rop Janet

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