Some 2,000 boys will be circumcised for free in a programme initiated by the Murang’a government.
The programme, which started on Sunday, targets boys from disadvantaged families who cannot afford to pay private facilities.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria yesterday said the initiative is part of a youth mentorship programme started in 2013. The programme guides young boys as they transition into adulthood.
Speaking at his office, Iria said the county has partnered with local churches and elders to implement the nine-day programme in 13 centres.
The county started the initiative to stop criminals from initiating boys from poor families into crime.
“That is how young men used to be introduced into crime and drug abuse, and their lives destroyed at a tender age,” Iria said.
He said the mentorship programme will go a long way into turning boys, especially from single parent families, into responsible adults.
Iria attributed the rise of illegal gangs such as the Mungiki sect, which wreaked havoc in the county a few years ago, to the lack of proper mentorship.
The programme, he noted, was purposely started after others had concluded theirs to ensure only needy boys benefit.
He dismissed residents who have criticised the county for starting the programmem saying the prime role of devolution is to empower the lives of locals.
“This programme is aimed at helping the less fortunate in the society and guiding them towards become responsible members of the community,” he added.
Boys with special needs have been given a priority in the programme. At Kabati Academy centre in Kandara, five boys living with disability aged between 13 and 18 were among 173 initiates.
Another set of 2,000 boys was circumcised last year.