Kenya: Nakuru MCAs Launch Campaign to Fight FGM, Early Marriages

Members of the Nakuru County Assembly Women caucus have launched an ambitious campaign to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages among schoolgirls in the region.

This comes at a time when seven students from a secondary school in Solai Ward dropped out of school after getting pregnant at the beginning of this year.

The MCAs have called for concerted efforts to tame the rising cases of teenage pregnancies in the region

"As women MCAs, we are concerned by the huge number of girls dropping out of school due to pregnancies and early marriages in Solai and other parts of Nakuru County," said nominated MCA Doreen Jebiwott Korir.

SANITARY TOWELS

The leaders spoke when they distributed more than 1,000 sanitary towels to school girls in Solai Ward.

Other nominated MCAs who toured the ward included Alice Chepkirui Kering, Elizabeth Waceke Gichuki, Isabella Makori, Joyce Anyiso, Racheal Chepkorir Maru, Rose Gathoni Njoroge and Rose Karugi Njoroge. They were accompanied by the area MCA Melvin Kutol.

The institutions that benefited from the sanitary towels included Seet-Kobor Baptist, Solai Day Mixed and Lake Solai secondary schools. Others were Arus and Emarangishu primary schools.

The MCAs urged the girls to keep off early sex and marriages if they hope to succeed in life and accomplish their dreams.

In Kuresoi North, more than 10 girls aged between 14 and 16 years from one secondary school dropped out of school after falling pregnant in April this year.

TEENAGE PREGNANCIES

Last year, 52 cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded in Kuresoi North. The girls blamed boda boda riders for their woes.

The MCAs said that FGM was as an outdated cultural practice that had no place in modern society.

"If anybody including your parents, aunties, uncles force you to undergo FGM, report the matter to area chief or police,"said nominated MCA Rose Gathoni from Gilgil.

Ms Korir urged other well-wishers to support their initiative saying their initiative had been greatly boosted by Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Speaker Joel Kairu Maina who bought sanitary pads and donated Sh50,000 towards the project.

"Governor Kinyanjui has promised to support the Nakuru County Assembly Women Caucus achieve their objective of ending early marriages and FGM in the county," said nominated MCA Rose Gathoni.

"We owe this campaign to Governor Kinyanjui and we urge other donors to donate sanitary towels so that we can keep more girls in school," said Ms Korir.

Ms Kering told the girls to stop engaging in love affairs with their teachers saying they would be the losers.

Ms Gichuki said the government was keen to ensure the girls get equal education opportunities like their male counterparts.

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