The fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Tharaka Nithi County has received a shot in the arm after the government undertook to facilitate chiefs and their assistants to strengthen the President’s directive that the vice be eradicated by the year 2022.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ms. Rachel Shebesh on Wednesday reminded chiefs and their assistants in the area that they have a cardinal role of ensuring that no FGM cases occur in their areas of jurisdiction
“The assistant chiefs have a very crucial role to play in this fight and even if they need a little facilitation to penetrate deeper into the grassroots Madam County Commissioner, please do not be mean with them,” Ms. Shebesh told the County Commissioner (CC) Ms. Beverly Opwora.
The CAS who was speaking during an Anti-FGM campaign forum held at Chuka University further directed the assistant chiefs to utilise the “Nyumba Kumi” initiative to penetrate deeper into the villages to ensure that no girl or woman faces the retrogressive cultural practice in the county.
This comes as a major boost to the efforts of Ms. Opwora who disclosed that in Tharaka Nithi County by the year 2022 FGM will be a thing of the past through not only national government interventions but also other stakeholders in the county.
“As you have heard here, it’s a blame game between men and women and to counter this here in Tharaka Nithi we are now going to the family level to ensure we have a constructive dialogue into the root cause of this retrogressive cultural practice,” said Ms. Opwora.
The CC stated that in Tharaka Nithi county and more so Tharaka constituency where few cases continue to be reported, a welfare programme has facilitated many girls to reject the FGM that is mainly secretly undertaken during August and December holidays.
The girls from Tharaka-North and Tharaka South sub counties instead opt to undergo an alternative rite of passage conducted by Tharaka Women Welfare Programme.
In December last year 340 girls from Tharaka constituency graduated after undergoing the alternative rite of passage held at Marimanti Primary School while on December 5, this year 179 from other areas graduated in a ceremony held at Chiakariga Girls’ High School
Speaking during the ceremony at Chiakariga Girls’ High School, the CC disclosed that President Uhuru Kenyatta has a target of eradicating the outdated cultural practice by 2022 and warned administrators who conspire or compromise with perpetrators that they risk losing their jobs.
By David Mutwiri