By Dennis Bett.
Eleven school girls from Marakwet East Sub-County shocked many as they demanded that they be circumcised despite spirited efforts by both Government and Non-Governmental Organizations against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Shockingly, the practice has come back in full force in the area with young girls demanding the cut, majority of them maintaining that they are ready to pay the price to preserve their culture.
Wewo Sub location Assistant Chief Richard Kemboi confirmed that recently, 11 girls who demanded for the cut were circumcised at Boroko village.
The chief said he invaded the area accompanied by security personnel from Tot Police Station immediately they were informed of the incident, but were met by armed youths who prevented them from accessing the area.
“This allowed the circumcisers and the girls to flee to the forest where the initiation went on. We are however doing our best to curb the vice and we are calling upon the stakeholders to assist us end FGM”, the chief told the press.
He said the minors were being forced to voluntarily undergo the illegal practice due to peer pressure.
“While we are doing everything we can to stop the vice, we cannot be everywhere every time unless the people themselves change their attitude towards the practice,” he said.
He said apart from young girls, the area had also witnessed cases of married women who escaped the cut going for the same to avoid being treated as outcasts, thus making it hard for the fight against FGM to succeed.
Area Deputy County Commissioner Stephen Sangolo said security personnel are yet to make any arrests but said all cases were being investigated.
Two weeks ago, two sisters aged 14 and 15 were circumcised and later fled to an unknown place, of which police are still looking for the parents, the minors and the circumciser to take action against them.
The County Commissioner Mr. Fredrick Ndambuki has called on the parents to avoid the vice which has negative consequences.
He said that they have organized education meetings for parents in the area to educate them on the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation saying that those found practicing the vice will face the consequences.