A nine-month anti-FGM project has been launched in Kajiado in a bid to end female genital mutilation in the county.
The launch of the ‘Don’t let the cut kill her dream’ project is in line with the Presidential directive to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by the year 2022.
The project was launched in partnership with UNICEF, the Anti-FGM Board, Kajiado County Government and the Illaramatak Community Concerns.
While speaking during the launch, Chief Administrative Secretary for Public Service and Gender Linah Jebii Kilimo assured the ‘cutters’ of the government’s support in providing them with alternative sources of income.
“The government has provided the cutters with uwezo funds that have enabled them to start alternative sources of income generating activities like making and selling mats, milk products, uniforms and beads thus becoming economically empowered without cutting the girls,” said Kilimo
This is a great alternative as in June 2014, several women protested the move to eradicate FGM in Kajiado Central claiming that it was their culture and only source of income.
She further encouraged the women to apply for the recently launched thamini loan which enables widows to grow their businesses through finances loaned to them.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Anti FGM Board Bernadette Loloju said that they would run the programme through a multi-agency team comprising of the national and county governments, the elders, the cutters and women who were the key partners in fighting FGM.
“Our main challenge so far as a board is the cross-border female genital mutilation where girls cross over to Tanzania to be cut then come back to Kenya after the cut,” said Loloju.
She revealed that an action plan that has been signed by Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia which would help address the cross-border challenge would be launched in September this year.
Illaramatak Community Concerns Resource Centre Executive Director Agnes Leina noted that Kajiado County anti-FGM policies have already been launched in Kajiado Central and the steering Committee would ensure that they were implemented.
By Diana Meneto