Embu County Commissioner Dr Eddyson Nyale has warned that female genital mutilation (FGM) that had been almost eradicated in the region was making a comeback.
He said families were sending their teenage daughters to neighbouring counties as if they were going for normal relative visits only for the girls to be cut and then return to their homes as if nothing had happened.
Dr Nyale who was addressing a meeting of the county’s Area Advisory Council, which deliberates on issues affecting children, said such cultural practices that have a negative impact on the children should not be allowed to make a comeback.
He said FGM affected children’s schooling in the immediate aftermath and had negative effects on family life later in the girls’ adulthood. Mutilated women suffer esteem issues in their adult life while some have life threatening difficulties when giving birth due to scarification of the vulva.
He added that children need to be protected from gender based violence and HIV which in addition to FGM are the three dangers facing children.
He urged the county’s residents to be the children’s keepers and report any that were not being taken to school.
The County Director of Children’s Services Mr Davelyne Mundi lamented that cases where children had been defiled or abused were being allowed to drag on in courts for too long.
He also regretted that some magistrates allowed defence lawyers to aggressively cross examine the children which left them traumatized.
He cited one case where a magistrate allowed a lawyer to mention taboo words while the father who was the accused person in a defilement case was present.
He said too many defilement cases were being lost because the parents did not know how to conserve evidence.