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Narok Chiefs Put on Notice for Abetting FGM

Narok County Commissioner Mr. Evans Achoki has cautioned administrators in the county against condoning the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Achoki asked the administrators to take personal responsibility to end female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to eradicate FGM by the year 2023.

Speaking during a meeting at William Ole Ntimama Stadium on Friday, Mr. Achoki warned chiefs and their assistants that they will be held liable for any case of FGM within their areas.

Mr. Achoki who is new in the county urged chiefs and their assistants to be on the forefront in fighting fgm at the village level.

Anti-FGM Board CEO Ms. Bernadette Loloju who has been campaigning against FGM for over 12 years countrywide said that it would not be possible to fight FGM without local administrators who are at the grass root level.

She said the narrative of FGM should end and added that communities practicing the outdated culture should start embracing education as the only way to empower the girl child and ensure development in the society.

Chairperson of the Anti-FGM Board Ms. Agnes Pareyio said that for a long time non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been at the forefront in creating awareness about the negative effects of the outdated practice but added now the crusade has received a boost with the government taking the lead.

Ms. Pareyio, who has been recognized nationally and internationally for her spirited fight against FGM, reiterated her commitment in redoubling the offensive against the archaic cultural practice in line with the Presidents directive.

Pareyio asked local administrators to use Nyumba Kumi elders as informers to tip them about the planned rite or immediately it takes place for action.

The Anti-FGM Board Director at the Ministry of Interior Mr. Paul Famba said communities should do away with outdated practices and embrace new norms that do not hurt the girl child physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Mr. Famba lauded efforts made by the  council of elders for agreeing to do away with FGM.

“I really appreciate the role of elders especially the Maasai council of elders in fighting FGM, as we know that they are the custodians of culture,” Famba said.

Although the practice of FGM was outlawed in Kenya in 2001 under laws that prohibit customs harmful to children and Under the FGM Act, 2011, it’s still rampant among some Kenyan communities with the Somali community leading in propagating this medically harmful practice  by 94 per cent.

They are closely followed by the Samburu who practice FGM at a rate of 86 per cent.

The Abagusi and Maasai communities are said to be third and fourth respectively in FGM  with a prevalence of 84 and 78 per cent respectively.

In Kenya, 37 of the 44 tribes still practice Female Genital Mutilation.

In this period of Coronavirus pandemic hundreds of young girls have undergone the cut in the county and the country and been married off.

 

By Mabel Keya-Shikuku/ Cherine Nabwire

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