Ruto: Practising FGM in secret still outlawed

President William Ruto addresses Bungoma residents at Nzoia Sugar Company grounds. [PCS]

President William Ruto has urged the residents of Mount Elgon in Bungoma County to discontinue the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Ruto characterised FGM as a detrimental cultural tradition that places women and girls at risk in the local area as well as in certain regions across the country.

He cautioned that those found engaging in harmful practices, including FGM, will be subjected to the full extent of the law.

Although the Kenyan government declared FGM illegal in 2011, the practice has continued in secrecy within Mount Elgon and other regions where communities attach special significance to it.

According to statistics from the 2022 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, the prevalence of FGM in the country stands at 15 per cent. This data underscores that approximately 15 out of every 100 girls and women have been subjected to the practice.

During his recent address, Ruto said his administration would not tolerate this inhumane practice and warned perpetrators that they will face consequences.

“We no longer want to hear about FGM in this area; every child deserves the opportunity to attend school,” the president said.

Ruto made the remarks during his visit to Kopsiro in Mount Elgon, where he inspected the ongoing construction of Chepkurkur Technical Training Institute. The visit took place on the third day of his five-day tour of the Western region.

He paid visits to Kapwokwony township, Nabing’inge Technical Training Institute in the Tongaren constituency, and Sang’alo Training Institute in Bungoma town. During his visit to Sang’alo, he upgraded the institution to national status.

Furthermore, the president inaugurated the construction of the Bungoma County Aggregation and Industrial Park in Sang’alo and concluded his itinerary with a visit to the Nzoia Sugar Company in Kanduyi constituency.

Dr Ruto underscored the importance of protecting Mount Elgon forest, warning locals against logging and other activities that could lead to the forest’s degradation.

The head of state said he would push his cabinet to endorse the construction of at least 26 dams to address water problems.