Amudat leaders vow to end FGM

By Olandason Wanyama

The declaration saw 14 councillors from four sub-counties of Amudat district and Amudat town council commit to ending FGM

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Amudat leaders have agreed to speak with one voice, to eliminate the archaic tradition of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the district, a practice which involves the removal of the clitoris.

A special council meeting was held on Wednesday afternoon at Amudat district hall, where leaders collectively agreed to unite against FGM.

The declaration saw 14 councillors from four sub-counties of Amudat district and Amudat town council commit to ending FGM under the theme, ‘Translating political decisions into concrete actions at the grassroots to reach the goal of zero tolerance to FGM by 2030.’

 mudat female councillors signing the declaration to fight Amudat female councillors signing the declaration to fight FMG

The leaders pledged that accelerating the action would save women and girls from the surgeons’ knife, an issue that has left scores of women and girls with reproductive complications.

The district woman councillor Loroo sub-county, Pauline Chepar who moved the motion to end FGM said she had rejected the cutting of children’s clitoris in the Pokot communities.

The motion was seconded by LCV men’s Councillor Joshua Lokapel who is also the secretary for health and education,

“Today, I also reject the practice of mutilating girls and women among the Pokot,” he noted.

He said the practice is an archaic ritual that should be denied existence urging leaders to mobilise villages to eradicate the tradition.   

Addressing the council during a two - hour session, the district Chairperson Francis Kiyonga said FGM Is life-threatening among women and girls in the communities.

“All harmful cultural practices against women and girls should be avoided,” he noted.

He pledged to mobilise the people to eradicate the practice by 2030.

“We are here to ensure communities embrace the fight against FGM,” Kiyonga said.

 mudat councillors chanting as they commit to end   Amudat councillors chanting as they commit to ending FGM

He added that speaking one voice would leave the perpetrators without option but abandon FGM.

Kiyonga appealed to the leaders to use the opportunity conclusively to eradicate the custom saying they have the mandate from stakeholders.

The Amudat Town Council representative, Chepusia Anna urged the government to build more schools in the district saying education was key in the fight against FGM.

She was optimistic that keeping the girl child in school would help her escape the wrath of the surgeons within the villages.

The district youth councillor Peninah Cheruto appealed to the stakeholders to involve teens in the fight against FGM.

She added that strengthening the youth from grassroots to the district level would help impact on the ritual.

 auline hepar 5 ouncillor mudat district moves the motion to end  among the okot  Pauline Chepar, LC5 Councillor Amudat district moves the motion to end FGM among the Pokot

The Amudat district principal secretary Alfred Logwe said FGM has been a menace to the communities since time immemorial.

“We should strive to give the tradition the worst send off so that people do not suffer again,” he urged.

However, the local leaders also agreed in unison to re-affirm their determination to end FGM and in so doing strengthen the national and local coordination in the areas of legislation.

They agreed to support the campaign by facilitating information exchange on trends and good practices on top of allocating sufficient human and financial resources for the implementation of all interventions to end FGM.

Amudat district community development officer Freda Amuron said 2019 marks seven years of intense struggle against FGM.

“We should join the rest of the world to end the archaic tradition that has claimed many lives and leaving many others disabled with severe complications,” she noted.