Written by Evans Jaola
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Anti- FGM crusader Teresa Lokichu. [PHOTO/Evans Jaola/West Fm]
West Pokot County: Leaders from West Pokot County have echoed the move by President Uhuru Kenyatta to create an anti- FGM board that will spearhead the fight of the vice in the area.
Local anti-FGM crusaders led by Teresa Lokichu and Leah Chebitwey say that the move by the president will enhance the fight that for a long time has been neglected.
“We have been fighting a war that was not recognized and the move by the president to create the board that will oversee the fight as a good gesture to us.” said the Leaders.
Also to be lauded was the choice of Hon. Dr. Linah Jebii Kilimo to chair the Board of Kenya's first Anti FGM Parastatal.
They termed Dr. Kilimo as an avid crusader against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) who also pushed for Kenya's anti-FGM Bill 2011 which criminalizes FGM acts.
The Kenyan Demographic and Health Survey of 2008 and 2009 indicated that one out of every three women between ages 15 to 49 years had undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), with most communities in Kenya’s Eastern and North Rift embracing the female cut.
Dr. Kilimo has been instrumental in working with Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in eradicating FGM, promoting girl child education and volunteered as a role model for Girl Child World Vision ADP.
For now the leaders have urged the new FGM boss to embark on serious business and eradicate the vice that has seen the dropout rate of girls in arid and semi arid areas increase in the recent days.
“We want to see her get to work and help us fight the vice that is threatening our society.” added Lokichu.
The gender activist said though provincial administration officers especially chiefs are aware that the rite is being conducted in their area of jurisdiction, they hesitate to report to the government.
"At least 300 girls face the cut during school holidays and the number could be big because some cases go unreported especially in Pokot North district," said Lokichu in an interview with West Fm.
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