Girls cross border to undergo Female Genital Mutilation
By Fred Kibor
Parents in Elgeyo/Marakwet County have been secretly arranging to have their daughters circumcised in neighbouring Baringo and West Pokot counties.
The girls from several parts of Marakwet East District and lower Kerio Valley have been crossing into adjacent counties to undergo the cut, away from the watchful eye of the Provincial Administration.
According to Stephen Kwambai, a rights activist in Chesegon Marakwet East, parents took their daughters to their relatives’ homes under the pretext that they were going to spend the December holiday there, only for them to be subjected to the cut.
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“The parents are taking girls away to areas that are inaccessible to law enforcers,” he said.
“The emerging trend will see FGM cases rise if the Government will not be more vigilant especially at the grassroots,” added Kwambai.
However, Elgeyo/Marakwet County Commissioner Arthur Osiya said they are not aware of such a scheme, but promised to liaise with his counterparts in the neighbouring counties to verify the reports.
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“This is an emerging trend where parents take their children to their relatives to undergo the cut. But we will devise ways to curb it,” said the county commissioner.
Several lobby groups led by Tegla Lorupe and former Marakwet East MP Linah Kilimo have been conducting campaigns aimed at encouraging residents drop the age-old practice.
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Female Genital Mutilation FGM girls