Chiefs urged to be vigilant against FGM cases

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West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello (pictured) has said he has received complaints from residents concerning the forced rituals
West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello (pictured) has said he has received complaints from residents concerning the forced rituals

Chiefs and their assistants in West Pokot County will face the sack if FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) cases will be reported in their areas of jurisdiction. FGM cases practices are on the rise during this festive seasons.

This comes after 11 people were taken to a Kapenguria Court for being behind female genital practices. Female genital mutilation cases have been rampant in where many girls have undergone the cut in two months time in the County.

Speaking during the Jamhuri day celebration at Makutano Primary school, West Pokot County commissioner Apollo Okello gave out a stern warning to chiefs in the area and urged them to be more alert and take note of any FGM ceremonies during this festive season.

Mr. Okello said that there is need to empower girls in the Pokot Community saying that their rights have been abused.

He called on leaders from the area to help in ending the practice. “We need a collective responsibility to end this menace,” he said.

The County Commissioner said the planners have changed their game plan and do the practice at night while others pretend to organize church ceremonies which act as a cover for FGM.

“This has robbed a whole generation of girls the opportunity to get education. They are trying to provide for their families while they are still children themselves and they lack the economic empowerment they require,” he said.

Mr. Okello urged elders in the area to spearhead the fight against the outdated cultural practices that have hindered development and violated the girl child rights.

“We shall not tolerate anybody who propagates FGM in this County, instead we want to concentrate on development in the County,” he said.

He said that cultural practices like female genital mutilation and early forced marriages are on the increase in the County and intervention of the area leaders will drastically reduce the vices.

He asked parents in the region to ensure girls remain in school until they complete their education.