Samburu elders declare to abandon FGM and Child Marriage

Samburu elders coronating President Kenyatta during his visit for the Declaration to end FGM in Kisima, Maaralal

By Collins Orono

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday witnessed the declaration by the Samburu elders to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in the Community urging elders to adopt an alternative rite of passage.

The President said ending Female Genital Mutilation is key to empowering the girl child in Kenya to participate fully in national development.

“If we want to achieve our national goals, we have to change and offer our girls opportunities in education to excel.

“If you look around the world, women are holding high positions and we don’t want to be left behind because of retrogressive cultural activities,” the President said.

President Kenyatta, who was in the County on a one-day working tour, challenged communities practising FGM to discard the retrogressive cultural practice by finding alternative rites of passage.

“I know it is possible for our girls to go through alternative rites of passage without suffering,” President Kenyatta said.

While highlighting the benefits of educating girls, the President advised the Samburu community to give their boys and girls an equal opportunity to attend school.

The President also spoke about insecurity in Samburu and neighboring Counties saying bandits and cattle rustlers in Baragoi and other hotspots who won’t cooperate with State agencies during a planned disarmament exercise will face the full force of the law.

Earlier while addressing 500 students and staff of Kisima Girls Secondary, shortly after attending a Samburu leaders meeting in the school, the President said girls need support from all Kenyans for them to access opportunities that will enable them to prosper.

“We have come together with all these leaders to start a process that will ensure all girls in Kenya are able to have the same and equal opportunities as their male counterparts,” the President said.

He said the Government was fully committed to ending FGM so as to enable Kenyan girls to lead meaningful lives.

“What we are starting today is a program that will empower young girls throughout the country to be able to live their lives to the fullest, to be able to have the opportunity of going to school, completing their education and preparing themselves for meaningful jobs,” the President said.

The Head of State was accompanied on the day-long working tour by Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal, his Marsabit counterpart Mohamud Mohamed as well as Cabinet Secretaries Prof Margaret Kobia (Gender), Charles Keter (Energy) and Keriako Tobiko (Environment) among other government officials.

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