Chiefs asked to be vigilant to ensure zero child abuse

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya speaks to residents of AngataBarikoi area yesterday when he toured the area to inspect assess security situation at the Tanzania-Kenya Border

Local administrators who will fail to report cases of Female Genital Mutilation and early pregnancies during this season when schools are closed risk facing disciplinary action, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has said.

Natembeya who spoke yesterday in AngataBarikoi area in Trans Mara West Sub County warned chiefs to be vigilant in ensuring the young girls are not defiled by ensuring those who engage in the practice face the full force of the law.

“If a teenage girl is found pregnant and the chief has not reported early enough we will assume that the chief is responsible for the pregnancy. Chiefs should be in the front line of ensuring zero teenage pregnancy in their area of jurisdiction,” reiterated Natembeya.

The tough talking Regional Commissioner reiterated the vice is common during long holidays saying many parents could take advantage of this season to marry off their teenage daughters or have them ‘cut’.

            “Parents should be reminded that any child below the age of 18 years is fully protected by the law hence we have all the reasons to dictate that no girl should be circumcised, or given off for marriage at a tender age,” he said.

He asked parents and the chiefs to encourage young children to continue revising at home with a hope of resuming school soon.

Recently Anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) board Chairperson Agnes Pareiyo said the national statistics on FGM stand at 21 percent but the practice is still rampant among some pastoralist communities thus concerted efforts ought to be done to make these communities accept uncircumcised girls.

She cited counties such as Migori (Kuria), Isiolo, Baringo, Narok, Kajiado, Samburu as some of the counties with the highest FGM prevalence in the country.