What you need to know:
- Gender CAS Linah Kilimo has advised traditional FGM 'surgeons' in Tana River County to form community-based organizations and self-help groups and apply for funding.
- Further, she urged community leaders to assist the elderly women in registering for the government monthly stipend program for the elderly as a supplement to their daily earnings.
The government will prioritise funding of projects forwarded by traditional female genital mutilation (FGM) 'surgeons' who abandon the practice.
Speaking to journalists in Hola recently, Gender Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Linah Kilimo advised the elderly women to form community-based organizations and self-help groups and apply for funding.
The CAS noted that an alternative source of income will spearhead a quick end to FGM in communities in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 2022 deadline.
"We understand the surgeons have been making Sh1,000 on every girl they circumcise, but here we are to provide an alternative source that is safe," she said.
Ms Kilimo noted that the ministry has negotiated with respective Women Representatives to allocate a chunk of the Women Enterprise Fund to managing pending questions regarding the economic state of respective FGM surgeons.
Further, she urged the community leaders to assist the elderly women in registering for the government monthly stipend program for the elderly as a supplement to their daily earnings.
She, however, warned that the government’s good gesture should not be interpreted as a plea, but an effort of goodwill before embarking on the law.
"We are not pestering you, there comes a time we will close the doors for negotiations, and force shall apply, we shall arrest and detain," she said.
The CAS put on-the-spot communities in Garissa and Tana River counties who have been sneaking their children into the neighbouring country of Somalia and other flanked villages to undergo the cut, warning that their time was up.
She reiterated that border control officers have been on high alert and will intercept parents responsible for the trips.
Ms Kilimo appealed to the concerned women to surrender their blades and register with their chiefs or heads of provincial administration, for pardon in the event of a crackdown.
Tana River County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba appealed to chiefs to be vigilant in efforts to end the cut.
Mr Rioba noted that it was unrealistic for the county to report one case of FGM since January whereas the practice was ongoing in respective villages.
"I know there are chiefs who have also circumcised their children in the period of the ban, we will catch up with you," he said.
The county commissioner promised a robust crackdown to root out surgeons still holding the tools of FGM.
The forum organised by WomanKind, seeks to initiate an anti-FGM conversation in pastoralist villages within the county pending a planned season of arrests.