The fight towards ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Narok County has gone a notch higher after the county government in collaboration with Anti-FGM board launched their County Anti-FGM policy.
Speaking during the document launch, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anti-Female Genital Mutilation board Mrs. Bernadette Resian Loloju said the policy is geared towards ending the retrogressive culture that is rated at 78 per cent in the county.
With the new document in place the community will be sensitized on the dangers of engaging in the practice, with the girls being sensitized on the Free Hotline numbers to call when they sense danger.
Loloju sounded a warning to some retired nurses whom she said are used by the community to perpetuate the evil act.
“We are aware of the new strategy to medicalize FGM to avoid being nabbed by the government officials. However, we are now vigilant and we are coming for you,” she warned.
The CEO recalled a recent case where she narrowly rescued a teenage girl whose parents had organized to cut her in the wee hours of the night.
“The girl called me and revealed that plans to cut her were underway. I called the county commissioner who informed the police and within a few hours, the parents had been arrested,” she said.
Loloju said the country has enough laws to prosecute FGM perpetrators, including enactment of female genital mutilation policy and prohibition of FGM act 2011.
“When we started this anti-FGM campaign, we were using only the Children Act. Nevertheless, more policies have been formulated to fight the lawless act,” she said.
She reiterated that President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a presidential directive to end the vice by the end of 2022, saying all state actors are working towards achieving this.
“We have devolved anti FGM committees to the counties where they are chaired by the county commissioner and further to the Sub County, where they are chaired by the Deputy County Commissioner so that we can engage the communities,” added the Loloju.
To this end, there has been a number of declarations to end FGM among them, the Kisima declaration 2020 that was witnessed by President Kenyatta, the Borona declaration 2021 and the Loita declaration 2020.
Some of the dangers that come with FGM, she said, is loss of life due to over bleeding, difficult in giving birth, school dropout, early marriages and teenage pregnancies.
“I remember when we were cut, my sister fainted because of over bleeding. She became anemic for many years. If only we knew how harmful FGM was, we could not have engaged in the practice,” she said.
Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde called on the chiefs and their assistants to be more vigilant in reporting any FGM case to the police so that the perpetrators can be prosecuted in court of law.
He called on the young girls also to resist by reporting to their local chiefs or spiritual leaders where they can find refuge.
The occasion was also attended by Narok Senior Resident Magistrate Adelaide Sisenda and Narok Gender officer Agnes Ngeno.
By Ann Salaton