• Opinion leaders from 22 counties where FGM is practised have declared their support for Uhuru to end the vice before the end of his presidential term
• Government urged to invest in social work to address issues that contribute to poverty and strengthen self-care systems
The government has been urged to hasten anti-female genital mutilation surveillance during the long school holidays.
The call came from former Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Board chairperson Linah Kilimo, WHO said government officials abetting FGM should be arrested and dealt with according to the law.
The former Marakwet East MP commended elders and religious leaders from 22 counties where FGM is prevalent for their commitment to end the vice by 2022.
The leaders made the commitment during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, last Friday.
President Kenyatta has promised to end the illegal practice by 2022.
“Elders and religious leaders are respected people in society and well placed to educate people on the dangers posed by FGM. I am optimistic that their resolve to join the war against the practice will greatly help in eradicating the vice,” Kilimo said in a statement.
She at the same time said that the consumption of illicit brews by parents contributed to the increase of street children in major towns. Kilimo is the chairperson of the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund.
She blamed the high level of poverty for the increase in the consumption of illicit brews, regretting that children from such backgrounds were left under the mercy of nature.
Kilimo urged the government to invest in social work to address the issues that contribute to poverty and strengthen self-care systems.
She said the social work encourages people to come up with programmes that empower women and girls, promote drug prevention and schooling as well as ending violence.
She said the number of street children had increased because of negligence and mistreatment by parents addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Kilimo said studies had shown that up to 25 per cent of children with alcoholic parents will either abuse alcohol or become alcohol-dependent.