Organizations launch war on female circumcision
Regional, Culture, 2/2/2001
Humanitarian organizations operating in Kenya's north Rift Valley region have launched an aggressive campaign to stop female genital mutilation (FGM) in the area, reports Panafrican news agency (PANA).
Local media last week reported that over 3,000 girls were circumcised in a traditional ceremony held to open the new planting season.
During the launch of the campaign Tuesday evening, World Vision Kenya and the Center for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD), said anti-FGM seminars would be held at the community level to help discourage the practice.
The World Vision officer, Obadiah Kisang, said several seminars have been held to sensitize the people on the dangers of FGM, but he admitted most people did not take the issue seriously.
CHRD executive director, Ken Wafula, said an anti-FGM 100-km walk across three administrative districts in the region has been planned to promote community awareness.
He said the walk would take four days and would start from Makutano Township - the hub of FGM in Pokot area - and would end in the farming town of Eldoret, all in the North Rift Valley region.
"We are also intending to raise 10 million shillings (about 130,000 US dollars) from the walk to fund anti-FGM crusades for the next five years," said Wafula.
The World Vision official attributed the high school drop-out rate among girls in the region to female circumcision.
"It is a pity to note that the future of many young girls is being ruined by this outdated practice," he lamented.
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