13 year old girl rescued from forced marriage plan

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Early forced marriages still pose a big challenge in Kenya
Early forced marriages still pose a big challenge in Kenya

A 13-year-old girl has been rescued from a planned early forced marriage at Alale village in North Pokot Sub County. Speaking to journalists in Kapenguria, the class seven girl said her father forced her to get married to a 60-year-old man as a fourth wife.

The girl who went to school at Sigor Primary school in Central Sub County said that her father lied to her that they were going to Turkwel boarding primary school only to find herself in Alale.

“When we arrived at Turkwel, we had to visit my sister who is married at Alale. We walked for over 200 kilometres,” she said.

She said when they arrived at her sister’s home, they stayed there for three days as his father secretly arranged for the planned marriage. “After three days, ten boys came and carried me to the old man’s homestead,”  she said.

The girl, who wants to be a lawyer in future, said she tried severally to escape from the homestead but she was beaten. “I stayed in the home for one month without showing any signs of escaping. I gained the old man’s trust and one day I stole his phone and called my mother,” she said.

She said after three days her uncle arrived at the village looking for her. “I asked for permission from the old man to go and my style my hair, and then I met my uncle and we escaped,” she said.

The girls said that her father was set to receive dowry this month after proving that she was ready to get married.

Beyond FGM coordinator Domtilah Chesang said the girl arrived at her office with major wounds and rushed her to Kapenguria County hospital for treatment.

Chesang said the girl was treated and discharged and now she is looking for funds to enrol the girl in school before pursuing the case. “The case is being currently handled by police, but am currently looking for funds to take her to a boarding school,” she said.

She also expressed fears that the girl’s siblings may also be forced to get married if they are not rescued.

The coordinator urged the County government to set up a rescue centre in the region since the County has none.

Pokot central Sub County commissioner Githinji said that the father has been arrested and will be arraigned in court. Githinji urged parents to collaborate and report such incidents when they occur to help to ensure rights of girlchild are protected.