A section of Baringo leaders have vowed to use women outreach missions to stamp out Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which is seen to be gaining prevalence in Baringo County.
Speaking at Kabarnet Museums grounds during the launch of Baringo Interfaith Network, County Women of Faith Network chair lady Veronica Kipsang stated that her caucus will mobilize women across the county for the outreach missions in a bid to sensitize communities about the dangers of FGM practice. Kipsang noted that women were concerned about the high number of retrogressive cultural practices in the region hence they have resorted to bank on alternative rites of passages through interfaith organizations which will intern transform the local communities.
“We want to end FGM and other retrogressive cultural practices such as early marriages, cattle rustling as well as drug abuse and ensure that the word of God reaches the grassroots,” she said.
The chairlady said through extensive education and religion which goes hand in hand, good morals shall be instilled amongst the residents who will in turn engage in other meaningful activities. Rebeca Kiptir, a member of the interfaith organization observed that it was shameful to see young girls being married off at a tender age while the boys are sleeping at roadsides due to alcoholism. Kiptir said they have been forced to intervene as women and stand to pray for the posterity of their families.
We want to end FGM and other retrogressive cultural practices such as early marriages, cattle rustling as well as drug abuse and ensure that the word of God reaches the grassroots”
Marigat deputy county commissioner Job Anunda said the region needs support from women groups to change the lifestyle of the residents. Anunda who was the chief guest during the launch acknowledged that retrogressive cultural practices were still deeply rooted in Pokot, Illchamus and Endorois communities of Baringo, a matter he says calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders. He called on parents to play a crucial role in shunning such practices which he says the consequences are dire.
Tenges Member of County Assembly Silas Tochim lauded role being played by the interfaith network saying that the assembly will support in enactment of further legislations that will ensure smooth operations in their outreach missions. Tochim underscored the crucial role of women in children development saying they were most concerned, prayerful and would easily mould the characters of the younger generation in a very nice way that will positively transform their behaviors.
Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) programmes manager Linus Nthigai in his statement said they have written a report citing some of the challenges befouling the youth in the county which they will soon present to both the governor and county commissioner. Nthigai noted that the youth have not been incorporated on county development programmes and they have observed that funding of sports activities has been significantly reduced.
“We have youths who are multi-talented and can go far with their God given talents thus we need all stakeholders to be involved and come up with ways of supporting them,” he said.
The programmes manager has single out idleness amongst youth as the main contributing factor as to why they behave that way but added that politicians are taking advantage by polarizing them to suit their own interests. He said that youth should be incorporated in church activities and all spheres of life for them to be dependable citizens in future.
By Benson Kelio