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New gender facility to address GBV issues

Nandi County Deputy Governor Dr. Yulitta Mitei commissioned a new gender office at the Nandi East Sub County Police headquarters on Wednesday that is earmarked to address Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) issues in the region.

The facility, which was put up by the Eastern Produce Kenya (EPK) Tea Company as a way of giving back to the community, will now enable residents to conveniently access services pertaining to SGBV challenges in the locality, thus intensifying the fight against SGBV.

EPK held a procession at Nandi Hills town from their office up to the gender facility to commemorate the ongoing 16 days of activism against GBV, an annual international campaign that begins on November 25th to mark the international day of elimination of violence against women and girls until December 10, which is Human Rights Day.

Speaking during the event, DG Mitei divulged that a number of cases of violations go unreported due to the lack of offices that have officers who are sensitive in handling such cases.

The DG noted that this new gender facility will translate to a reduction in violence against girls, women, and even boys, revealing that Nandi East is one of the sub-counties in Nandi that has been reporting more cases of violence against women and girls.

She further applauded EPK Tea Company for championing the fight against SGBV by putting up such a facility and urging other multinational tea companies to follow suit in giving back to the community.

“There are a number of cases that we have witnessed over time, and even as we speak, we have received reports of violence left, right, and center. Nandi East and Tinderet sub-counties have been reporting more cases of gender-based violence. I want to appreciate EPK for choosing to raise their voice against SGBV,” she explained.

The administrator called upon residents to utilise the facility to be able to have a society with the minimum number of cases of violence, thus saving their community.

Nandi East Sub County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Leonard Mgute observed that this facility will go a long way in strengthening partnerships and linkages to ensure GBV case management and enforcement are in place.

The DCC commended EPK for being a dependable partner to the surrounding community in ensuring their wellbeing is catered for over time, adding that the office will provide a safe and inclusive environment to people regardless of their gender.

“SGBV is a pressing issue that is being experienced by individuals across the globe. The establishment of this facility, together with our gender office, provides a collective determination where victims can seek support, justice, and empowerment,” Mgute said.

Mgute called on church leaders to be at the forefront in sensitising people to avoid violence by all means, as well as praying for the community, especially young couples, whom he said are the most affected by domestic violence.

EPK General Manager Leah Kipchirchir said on her part that the purpose of the office is to provide a platform where victims of violence, whether boys, girls, men, or women, can be listened to, counselled, and served with dignity.

“Our journey to setting up this office began when we realised that there was a gap in the service offered by the police in addressing gender issues effectively. We are happy today as we hand over this facility to the national police. The purpose of the office is to serve victims of all genders,” said Kipchirchir.

Francis Omulo, the sub-county police commander, lauded EPK for their support and said that they had equipped the office, thus making it fully functional, adding that it will be operating for 24 hours.

“This is a sensitive office as it deals with children, youths, adults, and even psychologically tortured individuals,” said Omulo, noting that it will be of great help to the community with the surge in violence issues being reported regularly in society.

The major types of GBV affecting modern society include domestic violence, sexual abuse cases like rape and sodomy, and female genital mutilation, among others.

 By Ruth Mainye

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