The Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) and Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders will on Thursday unveil a monument in Laare, Igembe North in Meru County in honour of a 14-year-old girl who died after undergoing circumcision (FGM) last year.
Jelida Gaichuiri from Mwanika in Igembe Central died in December 2018 with Nyambene Level Four Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Michael Kariuki, last month confirming that she died from severe pneumonia after an infection on the circumcision wound.
The body of the girl has been lying at the hospital’s mortuary for the last three months after her parents went into hiding.
Fida Communications Officer Daisy Oloo said they will also hold an anti-FGM sensitisation procession in Laare town before joining Njuri Ncheke elders in unveiling the monument at their shrine in Laare.
Ms Catherine Thiakunu, an anti-FGM crusader who has been spearheading the search for justice for the girl said Jellida will be laid to rest on Saturday.
“Fida and Njuri Ncheke elders will lead a memorial service and sensitise the public against FGM. The monument is meant to be a constant reminder on the need to fight the vice in Igembe region,” Ms Thiakunu said.
She said it took the intervention of Njuri Ncheke elders for the family to accept to bury the body.
“I will not be attending the burial because I have been threatened for ensuring that Jellida is accorded a decent burial. The family had already paid the hospital to dispose the body. The grandmother claimed there is no land to bury the deceased but we learnt that they are against her burial because of certain traditions,” she said.
Ms Thiakunu expressed her concerns over the rampant cases of FGM in Igembe, noting that records indicate that up to 15 girls are admitted to hospital every year due to complications related to circumcision.
Njuri Ncheke Secretary-General Josphat Murangiri said the council may be forced to reaffirm its 1956 decree that outlawed FGM in the Meru community.
Youth Anti-FGM Network, a lobby group, recently expressed concern over slow investigations by the police as the circumciser and parents were still at large.