Embu Deputy Governor Dorothy Nditi has raised the alarm over the high number of girls undergoing female genital mutilation in the region, saying some church faithful were also condoning the vice.
She said even though the practice is illegal, many parents were still secretly pushing their children to undergo the cut.
Speaking at Embu University College during a function to mark this year’s World Population Day, Ms Nditi called for a concerted effort to end the vice which she blamed for the high rate of early marriages and school dropouts.
This year’s theme was dubbed “Investing in teenage girls”.
The Deputy Governor also took issue with the high rate of defilement cases of schoolgirls and teenage pregnancies.
She said most of them were perpetrated by relatives and people who were supposed to take care of those children.
During the function, two schoolgirls narrated how they were defiled by their fathers, one getting pregnant while the other contracted HIV.
The fathers are serving life sentences.
“In Embu, we like burying our heads in the sand. FGM is happening in many villages. It is being carried out by people in church and those who are supposed to be responsible for them,” said Ms Nditi.
She urged men to help in discouraging the female cut by not marrying such women.
Embu County national council for population and development director Ms Beatrice Ong’undi said one in every 10 girls in the county gets pregnant before the age of 18 years.
She said a similar number did not attend school at all, while only three in 10 get to secondary school.
Ms Ong’undi said her office was holding various sensitization programmes to encourage girls attend school to attain their full potential.