Narok Governor Samuel Ole Tunai has declared war against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages, which has affected the lives of many school-going girls in the county.
Speaking in Lolgorian area in Trans Mara West sub-county during a sensitization meeting last week, Mr. Tunai vowed to mobilize local leaders in fighting FGM and called for more collaboration between the National Government and county government in fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages among school-going girls.
“If this trend continues, we are going to lose our future, we will lose a generation,” the governor said.|
Data from the children`s department shows cases of early pregnancy for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 in Narok County increased from 98 cases in the last six months of 2019, to more than 120 in the first six months of this year. These figures could be higher as this data was acquired from the records of health facilities only.
More data shows that every year, 40 per cent of girls in Narok drop out of school due to early marriage and early pregnancies, which culminates from cultural practice of FGM, whereby girls are normally married off to older men after undergoing the cut.
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has created the perfect conditions for increased teenage pregnancies and proponents of FGM and early marriage to carry out their perverted motives. The vice of FGM is rampant in Narok among the Maasai and Kipsigis communities who consider it an important aspect of their culture.
Data shows that during the first three months in lockdown due to COVID-19, 152,000 Kenyan teenage girls became pregnant, which was a 40 percent increase in the country’s monthly average.
Tunai also reminded all Narok residents to observe Covid-19 protocols such as hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing as laid down by the Ministry of Health, in order to stem its spread during this festive season.
He urged all parents to ensure they take their children to school come January 4 irrespective of challenges, saying education was a basic right of a child. He promised that his office will distribute bursaries to the respective officials in the wards by the end of the year.
Tunai noted that with the proposed three new constituencies in Narok County in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, his office shall mobilize stakeholders on round table discussion to agree over boundaries so as avert future conflicts.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku