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FGM, early marriages affecting young girls in Lamu

06 November 2014, 11:54 Ken Wekesa

Lamu - Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages have affected the learning progress of young girls among the Boni community in Lamu County.

Low transition has been reported of girls joining secondary school from primary school, with reports indicating that in 2013, out of the eight candidates who sat their KCPE at Mangai primary school, none joined secondary school.

The Lamu executive officer in charge of Education, Gender and Social and Youth Affairs, Hamisi Kaviha said 15 young girls from Bargoni primary school are currently pregnant.

Kaviha said the recent tour to the Boni community established that girls between the age of nine and ten had been forced to undergo the cut with most events happening in December.

He said that after the girls undergo the circumfusion they are forced to drop out of school as men are always available to start paying their dowry.

“The situation at the moment is out of control as once the girls drop out of school due to pregnancy, their parents who are the accomplices are unwilling to provide information to investigators hence making it hard to locate them,” said Kaviha.

Kaviha said the County government had resolved to arrest any schoolgirl who is found pregnant in the area.

Read Also: MP finds himself in trouble for supporting FGM

He said they made the decision following increased involvement and planning of such barbaric acts by the girls' own parents.

“The efforts have also been directed to schools where we female teachers will offer guidance and counseling to the young girls,” Kaviha said.

He however said that increased poverty levels in the area is a major contributor to early marriages since most of the parents cannot afford to fend for their families.

The officer revealed that the County government through the bursary accounts will cater for the school fees of all school going girls in the Boni community.

This comes days after the United Nation Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, promised to support eradication of FGM in Kenya.

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