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New dawn as elders pledge to join hands in fight against female genital mutilation

By Michael Saitoti | January 31st 2017
Samburu elders perform sacred prayers during an anti-FGM graduation ceremony for over 300 girls in Maralal on 17th April, 2016 . [Photo:Michael Saitoti/Standard].

More than 300 elders from Samburu Central sub-county have pledged to lead their community in the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM).

The elders said although the practice was outlawed, the Samburu community continued to aid it without understanding why it was banned or the harm it caused.

"I have discovered that FGM is a bad practice and our children are the main victims. Nobody has ever come here to tell us how bad it is before today," said Lemirile Arupora, an elder and resident of Lolmolog.

He said many people in the region were unaware of the effects of FGM on girls and the society at large, and urged anti-FGM stakeholders to spread their campaigns to remote villages.

The Samburu Girls Foundation invited professionals to engage residents, including the elders, in discussions on FGM in Lolmolog.

During the discussions, the elders pledged to champion children's education as a long-term measure against FGM in the region.

Joshine Kulea, the foundation's director, said awareness on FGM ought to be taken seriously.

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