The Star (Nairobi)

22 November 2012

Kenya: Female-Genital-Mutilation-Free Zone Created

TEN villages in Kuria East and Kuria West districts have signed a pact with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development and a local NGO to end female genital mutilation.

The model villages Matare, Komotobo, Kugitimo, Nyaroha and Maeta in Kuria East and Nyabikaye, Tarang'anya, Ikerege, Ngisiru and Nyabohanse in Kuria West are set to be FGM free zones according to the MoU.

"We want to solve the problem of FGM through the villagers' participation by involving them directly," said the Adventist Development Relief Agency project manager Mary Kwamboka. "The procedure has been successful in Senegal, where the vice has been drastically reduced."

The declaration form was signed by village elders, ADRA's representative, a children's officer and assistant chiefs from each villages at Chinoti and Ikerege divisions in Kuria East and Kuria West districts.

Kwamboka said they chose the areas like Wakira and Nyabasi clans because they will circumcise the girls next month. Two other clans Wagumbe and Bwirege carried out the ceremony which rotates bi-annually last year.

According to the declaration form, the model villages will work with child protection agents like local NGOs and government to end the vice and report those going against the MoU to the relevant authorities.

They will also educate other villages on the dangers of FGM. "We chose 1,000 homes which have refused to circumcise their girls through chiefs and locals churches," said Kwamboka. "These homes will be a model to others and hope that they will influence more than 10,000 more homes."

John Langat, the children's officer in Kuria West said they carried out the same exercise in June 2010 where more than 160 elders from all the Kuria clans signed a declaration form to end the vice at Kegonga town, but it failed.

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