Despite the anti-FGM law enacted in 2012, girls in some parts of West Pokot are still undergoing FGM, an outdated cultural practice.
Anti-FGM groups have for the past years embarked on a sensitization and awareness campaign among the Pokot community in an effort to reduce its prevalence especially in rural areas where girls are at more risk.
Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo in a joint meeting with UNICEF, UNFPA and World Vision discussed various strategies that would be key in ending FGM.
Prof. Lonyangapuo pointed out that there is need to sensitize not only women, but also men.
“We must be aware that our efforts will not bear any fruits if we won’t include men in these campaigns. These are the decision makers in our community. Once we have them on board, we would have made considerable steps in ending FGM,” said the county boss.
He further proposed that the FGM awareness campaigns be incorporated with the adult education literacy program.
“We just started this adult literacy program few months ago and I can tell you that over 40,000 adults have enrolled for these classes. Why don’t we come up with a joint syllabus where we will sensitize our people on all these retrogressive practices?” he posed.
The team leader of the joint stakeholders Judith Kunyiha- Assistant Representative, UNFPA Kenya said that West Pokot had made considerable progress in reducing FGM prevalence.
She cited Marich Pass as a good example where FGM prevalence had considerably reduced standing at 15%, owing to many campaigns to end the practice.
“We look forward to other counties following suit to what West Pokot has done. Let’s encourage our people to embrace alternative rites of passage.” Mentioned Ms. Kunyiha.
She urged the county administration to allocate enough resources into subjects that concern young people.
Present were the County Secretary Dr. Mike Parklea, various representatives from UNICEF, UNFPA, World Vision and many others, Chief of staff Powon Kapello, Resource Mobilization & Donor Coordination Assistant Director Elizabeth Gichuki among others.