By Daniel Edyegu
IN a bold step likely to be another blow against the perpetrators of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sebei and Karamoja sub-regions, the Reproductive Educative and Community Health programme (REACH), a local civil organisation, has built a national safety centre for female survivors from the brutal practice in Kapchorwa town.
The sh90m national safety centre, whose construction started in 2010, was funded by the Government and the Netherlands Embassy.
Beatrice Chelangat, the REACH programme director general, on Tuesday explained that the centre would serve Kapchorwa, Kween, Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto and Bugiri districts; where the practice is still existent.
“We conceived the idea of building a safety centre because during the circumcision season, girls escaping from FGM mentors would throng our offices seeking safety. We would be prompted to pay for their accommodation in hotels and host some in the homes of our employees, which was costly,” Chelangat said.
“But the tricky part of it was that some elders would even sneak into the hotels where we had put the girls and carry them away for the ritual. With the safety centre, such loopholes will be sealed,” Chelangat added.
She said there is another smaller safety centre in Bukwo. FGM is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia.
It is practised by the Sabiny, Pokot, Kadam and Tepeth.