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November 20, 2018

Hundreds of circumcisers take hygiene classes before the cut

A boy prepares for a cut in Bungomay/ BRIAN OJAMAA
A boy prepares for a cut in Bungomay/ BRIAN OJAMAA

More than 800 traditional circumcisers from Bungoma have been trained in hygiene ahead of the annual initiation, which begins next week.

They were drawn from the Bukusu, Tachoni and Batura sub-tribes of the Luhya community.

The training took place on Wednesday at Kanduyi Red Cross hall and was presided over by Bungoma Deputy Governor Charles Ng’ome, culture executive Everline Kaikai and Bukusu council of elders chairman Richard Walukano, among others.

The circumcisers, locally known as Wamusanya, will circumcise more than 3,000 boys aged between 10and 18 years after schools close next week.

After the training, the circumcisors were awarded certificates and badges with firm instructions that anyone who does not have them should not perform the cut.

The training was geared towards curbing spread of HIV and venereal diseases. The one-knife-one-boy policy was highly empasised during the training.

Previously, some boys contracted diseases after the cut while others penises were disfigured. A few deaths have also been reported, mostly due to excessive bleeding.

Culture executive Kaikai said the county would send ambulances in case of emergencies.

She said the county would also provide first aid tools to the circumcisers, badges and uniforms.

She asked the circumcisers to be clean, wshing their hands and cutting their nails short. The environment must also be clean.

She warned them against forcing non-Bukusu people to undergo the cut.

Deputy Governor Ng’ome denied claims the county was charging Sh1,000 for every boy who will be cut. He warned that anyone found charging the boys would be prosecuted.

“He who forgets his culture is lost and we know that all boys who are traditionally cut and given proper teachings by elders usually grow up to be very responsible men in the society. We are calling upon the Wamusanyas to mould our boys in the right way,” he said.

He said during past exercises, some circumcisers bewitched each other. He asked them to shun the evil practice.

Ng’ome asked the police not to harass traditional brewers and those found consuming the brew, because that is part of the Bukusu culture.

He warned women against leading circumcision songs saying that is a taboo. He warned that any woman who breaks that taboo risks death.

Bukusu Council of Elders chairman Richard Walukano asked the circumcisers to avoid sleeping with women throughout the entire season.

Chairman of the circumcisers, Sinino Omukolongolo, said, “If you are going to cut 12 kids in a day you should have 12 knives where each knife will go for one child.”

He also asked the circumcisers to advise parents how to care for the boys untill they fully recover.

The exercise will take place mainly among the Bukusu, Tachoni, banyala, Kabras and Batura sub tribes.

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