A NON-Governmental Organisation, Reaching the Unreachable Tanzanian (RUT), has launched a project against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Dodoma Region, a crucial initiative which has so far reached out to at least 963 people since its inception in July this year.
Dubbed 'FGM Free Generation Project' (FFGP), the one-year program under the auspices of Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) seeks to free Kondoa and Kongwa districts from high-profile atrocities against women and adolescent girls.
FGM covers all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
Such practices are defined as violence against the right of sexual reproductive health to the women and girls. The organisation's Director of Policy Research, Monitoring and Advocacy, Mr Richard Senkondo, said a total of 550 of girls and women have been reached.
He pointed out that they decided to execute the project in Dodoma due to grim statistics over the high prevalence of the illegal cut in different parts within the region.
"The Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (2015-2016) shows that Dodoma is the second region in the country on the prevalence of FGM practices.
But many projects to end such misdeeds have been implemented in other regions but Dodoma has always been left out," he observed.
He further explained that the project was using constructive and friendly approaches in efforts to reduce the long-standing malpractice to zero, including conducting awareness-raising campaigns to impart communities with knowledge on diverse effects of practicing the illegal practice.
Moreover, he added, to eliminate the violence from the grassroots level, the project was also based on identifying criminals, educating them, as well as assisting them to venture into different Alternative Income Generating Activities (AIGAs) through the provision of initial capital.
"In many areas, we have established that the circumcisers, popularly known as ngariba, are perpetrating gender-based violence (GBV) in order to generate income and are often paid at least 5,000/-," he added.
According to him, in rural areas, due to poor beliefs, FGM is perceived to be a mechanism for reducing prostitution amongst women and girls.