heDespite the government ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), some men in Nakuru County still force their wives to undergo the harmful practice.
The Ogiek Council of Elders has raised the red flag over increasing cases of FGM targeting married women and young girls in Nessuit and Mariashoni. Men pay Sh12,000 and a sheep for the exercise.
This December alone, 87 women have undergone the cut according to Ogiek Council of Elders chairperson Joseph Towett.
“This is shocking yet we have assistant chiefs and chiefs in Nessuit and Mariashoni who are abetting this archaic cultural practice,” he said.
The local administration, including Regional Commissioner George Natembeya and Molo Sub-County Deputy Commissioner David Wanyonyi, said they were unaware of the cases.
The Ogiek leader blames the local administration, security personnel and local elders under Nyumba Kumi initiative for failing to end the practice.
“The victims have been locked up in a house in Molem and Karabwet in Mariashoni location for the last two weeks, and I’m surprised local leaders are unaware,” said Mr Towett.
“The women and girls need counselling as they underwent the cut against their wishes,” added Mr Towett.
He said the victims may need a tetanus jab and a medical check-up as the circumciser uses one knife, which may expose them to other ailments.
Mr Towett said some parents of girls who recently completed Standard Eight were forcing their daughters to undergo the cut.
He suggested that the government and NGOs launch an FGM campaign targeting such men.
“The fight against FGM in Nakuru, Narok, Baringo, Bomet and Kericho counties will only succeed if more energy is directed towards civic education targeting men who still support this retrogressive cultural practice,” said Mr Towett.
He noted that FGM was the root cause of increasing cases of early pregnancies and marriages in South Rift region, and called on the government to sack leaders not enforcing the FGM ban.