15 December 2011

Kenya: Mbeere District Schoolgirls Circumcised Secretely

HUMAN rights lobby groups in Embu have raised concern over the violation of the rights of school-going children in Embu by their parents and grandparents in secretly circumcising them.

The human rights groups asked the government through the provincial administration to ensure secret Female Genital Mutilation is stamped out. They said the worst hit area is Mbeere North and South districts where girls are usually circumcised during holidays.

Secretary to the Embu Urban Local Forum Mary Wawira Njue, a consortium of local civil society in Embu county said the practice is negatively affecting the girls' education. She said her organisation is creating awareness on the irrelevance and dangers of the practice to end it. She said incidents of the practice come to the fore only when an operation aborts or becomes soar. She cited the case of a 12-year-old girl who was recently admitted at the Embu Provincial General Hospital bleeding from a circumcision exercise gone soar.

The standard six girl who had visited her great grandmother at Ishiara in Mbeere North district was allegedly forced by the great-grandmother to undergo the ritual. Wawira at the same time decried the increase in bhang trafficking, abuse of drugs and illicit drinks in the area among youth.

She said within this month alone bhang worth millions of shillings had been recovered by police in Embu town and Kamiu where a farmer was found growing it. Wawira said even as the local youth fight for their rights they should do so by being responsible in their behaviours. She blamed much of the woes affecting the youth to poor leadership from local leaders. She called on the local leaders to ensure they lead in establishment of local industries which are lacking in the area.

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