Residents encouraged to use online platform to report GBV

Counties Crime Editor's Pick Samburu Technology

Isiolo residents have been urged to report gender-based violence incidences on a new online platform in the government’s effort to eradicate practices like Female Genital Mutilation.

The Isiolo County Commissioner, Mr. Geoffrey Omonding, urged the residents to take advantage of the platform to report incidents before they occur as an early warning mechanism that will help authorities prevent cases from happening.

Mr. Omonding, who made the remarks at the launch of the platform dubbed ‘Ongea Usikike’, urged parents to take their children to school because, through education, the children would learn their rights while they were still young. The Nomadic Women for Sustainable Development (NOWSUD), a non-government organisation, organised the inauguration of the online platform.

The County Commissioner said the government will have no room for alternative justice procedures for perpetrators of GBV, as it has been a trend among pastoralist communities in the past yet achieved negligible gain.

Mr. Omoding directed chiefs to help non-state actors with such initiatives to coordinate their activities since they have the same motive of stopping crime as the government.

NOWSUD Director Ms. Amina Gemadid said the “Ongea Usikike” online platform would help the victims of violence be heard and protected by the law of the land.

According to Gemadid, many cases of GBV are not reported for fear of ridicule by the community members, yet the incidences could be prevented had the involved parties resorted to utilising the instant online platform.

A Human Rights activist, Ms. Anab Kasim, urged for concerted efforts towards popularising the online platform so that many people, including those who have no formal education, have a way to express their plights through the use of the platform.

The platform, which will capture reports through online media like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, will be available for use through gender champions from different villages in Isiolo and Samburu counties who will act as point persons to enable residents to report information whenever such cases happen.

The National Council of Elders’ Treasurer Sheikh Amed Set, who said that Islam does not allow any form of GBV, including FGM, urged citizens to defend women’s rights and shun all forms of GBV.

Sheikh Set said the country was spending a lot of resources to sensitise people in the area about gender-based violence, and therefore there was a need to try the more swift online services for fighting even other related crimes.

A youth leader, Noor Juma, said he was going to mobilise fellow youth to understand and fight FGM, which he blamed for negatively affecting the marriage, social life, and sex lives of young people.

By David Nduro

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