At least 350 teenage girls are to be circumcised in the next two weeks in Marakwet East and Pokot Central districts.
A pre-initiation ceremony known as kitung’a will take place in Kapsiren
village, Koibirir location, on the Friday that schools are to close.
A source from the provincial administration and several primary school
teachers told the Nation at Tot trading centre on Tuesday that
according to cultural beliefs, the stars, prevailing weather patterns,
and other key elements had signalled that the initiations should go on
in the next two weeks.
About 120 girls aged between nine and 16 years are to undergo the rite
in Endow, Kaben, and Koibirir locations while 60 others are targeted in
Cheptulel in Marakwet.
In the neighbouring Lomut and Arpolo sub-locations in Pokot Central, more than 150 girls will undergo the cut.
Koibirir chief Alfrick Lorem said the teenagers are to be initiated during the December holidays.
The initiations come amid stern warnings by the government that
perpetrators would be prosecuted. Human rights activists have also
threatened to sue the perpetrators of the outlawed practice.
Separately, three married women were circumcised on tuesday in
Chepkwawai village in Chebororwa location, Marakwet West District.
According to anti-female genital mutilation crusaders, one of the women
claimed that she was forced to undergo the rite or face excommunication
by the society and divorce by her husband. The other two admitted that
they had consented to be circumcised.
Marakwet East district commissioner Joseph Kisangau put FGM practitioners in the district on notice.
“We have instructed chiefs to be on the look-out throughout the
December holiday. Should anyone circumcise a girl or woman, they will
be arrested and prosecuted,” he warned.
Marakwet West district children’s officer Peter Kutere said the
government had criminalised forced circumcision of girls and warned
parents that they risked being jailed if their daughters underwent the
SOURCE: The Daily Nation
Date: November 24, 2009