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Samburu intensifies FGM eradication campaign

Samburu County Gender Sector Working Group (GSWG) has developed a two-year action plan to intensify the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2022.

Speaking during a two-day workshop in Maralal town, Samburu County Gender Officer Albert Wanjohi said that the action plan is a follow up of the March 6, 2021 Kisima Declaration which saw Samburu elders decree Samburu County FGM-free in an event attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Wanjohi said that the action plan is a framework to ensure that all stakeholders in the fight against FGM in Samburu County are coordinated to avoid duplication and eliminate briefcase organizations.

“Apart from the work plan, the group has also developed a two-year roadmap to ensure we handle all the anti-FGM activities as a group to ensure we achieve the presidential directive of eradicating FGM in Samburu County by the year 2022,” Wanjohi said.

During the meeting, GSWG members identified FGM hotspots in the county, which will help in collecting current FGM data using chiefs as well as ward and village administrators.

It was also observed that to avoid arrest, FGM was now taking place at night and as an intervention all circumcisers should be mapped out and given alternative means of livelihood.

Samburu County Children Coordinator Jane Kabiru noted that the committee is relying on 2014 FGM data which stood at 86 per cent. She said chiefs should be trained to help in the collection of current FGM data which might be lower considering the anti-FGM campaigns carried out over the years.

Samburu Girls Foundation founder Josephine Kulea said teachers need to be sensitized on FGM issues saying that majority of them do not report when girls fail to report to school.

“Most of the calls I get are from non-local teachers who know FGM is wrong but local teachers see FGM and early marriages as normal culture and they fear going against it,” Kulea said.

Kulea also noted that there is lack of political goodwill in the fight against FGM since politicians fear losing voters if they tackle the sensitive topic.

By Robert Githu

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