Karamoja residents, elders sensitized on FGM Act, Commit to eliminate the vice

Residents, Local leaders and Clan elders in Amudat and Nakapiripiti districts (Karamoja sub-region) were among the key stakeholders who participated in sensitization campaigns aimed at eradicated Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child marriages within their communities.

Some of the women and girls that turned for the sensitization campaign at Lemusui scounty , Nakapiripiti district last week

In this campaign conducted by Action Aid International Uganda with  partners like UNFPA ,  people in this sub region were sensitized about the FGM Act of 2010, dangers associated with FGM , Child marriages and as a result  many  committed to work hand in hand with all stakeholders to bring to an end these out dated practices.

Lomilo James ,a Catechist from Christ the king church in Loroo Sub county in Amudat district blamed culture and ignorance as the main reason why some people are still insisting on carrying on FGM

“Education has opened eyes of many people here to the extent that those still engaged in FGM have to do it while hiding for fear of being arrested.”

Cheruto Penina , the Vice Chairperson for Amudat district noted that as authorities in the area, they have tasked Nurses at all health facilities within , to give them quarterly reports on number of women giving birth after undergoing FGM. We also asked LC1s to give reports on a regular basis about on people who take their girls for cutting.”

She also added that as local government ,they also passed the Alcohol and FGM ordinance which provides serious punishments for all those caught aiding or caught in the practice.

Emmanuel Ochieng Project Legal officer from Action Aid sentizing Amudat residents about the FGM Act.

Detective ASP Odongo Daniel the District CID officer for Amudat district , emphasized that although there are number of actors conducting sensitizations to eliminate the practice, there are some few individuals who still think that they have strong attachment to their culture by implementing whatever they say.

“We have held several sensitizations with Action Aid in various communities and people are responding positively, while others have turned away from the practice for fear of being arrested and prosecuted as some of their colleagues.”

He also noted that Amudat has got some rare cases of women defiling young boys, whereby at least in a month they register at least a case or two of that kind.

Nakiria Margret chepkakoikoi a reformed FGM surgeon narrating her story.

Nakiria Margret chepkakoikoi of moruakimat village, Alapat Parish, Lemusui sub county and a former surgeon from Nakapiripiti district revealed that she gave up on that business as a result of sensitization and religious preaching which asked believers to turn away from acts that harm others

“I stopped the practice 20 years now and the girl whom i gave birth to by then , she is completing Senior siz this year.

One of the reasons why i left the practice was because of the revelations i used to receive from God inform of dreams as he continuously asked me why do i continue with cutting people’s private parts. some times people used to bleed seriously and i used to ask my self that of what if the person dies , would i be allowed into the kingdom of God?” She stated

Nakiria also pointed out that as a result of birth complications experienced by those who under went FGM, many women no longer want to be cut in fear of the repercussions that they may face in the future.

Some of the men who turned up for the campaign in Amudat district.

“For those who attack women that don’t believe in Female Genital Mutilation , we always identify them and sensitize them the dangers of cutting women’s private parts. Many have turned away from the practice and have also taught the others on how to do away with this vice.”

Yerere Kashiueshieu John, the LC.1 Chairperson for Alapat village , in Lamsui sub county Nakapiripiti district, expressed concern about the presence of some cultures in their area which attach bride price on FGM to the extent that they a pay more cows for a girl who was cut than those offered to a girl who is still intact.

“Bringing a police station in our area has scared away wrong doers , criminals and other people who used to give a bad image to our area .”

Detective ASP Mafabi Robert , the Deputy CID officer Nakapiripiti district, noted that Lamusui sub county being near to the border its a big challenge because Pokots of kenya always mix with those of Uganda in carrying out the outlawed FGM

“As you see terrain of this place, some girls are taken to bushes , caves and others to Kenya side, circumcised and when they return home they don’t report. Ever since i reported to this district, i have never registered a case (arrested any suspect) since but i hear about them in rumors.”

He added that on a monthly basis they receive at least four cases about children marriages and defilement on a monthly basis.

“The young girls in this area are putting the blame on old mothers that cut them to the extent that their husbands have abandoned them and the same time , they have never felt any sexual pleasure in their life. ”

Therefore , he expressed the need to spot all local surgeons wherever they are , help them to form associations through which they can be able to tap into government economic empowerment programs like PDM, Emyooga and others so as to find other means of survival.

Some of the elders from Nakapiripiti district attending Senstization at Lemusui in Nakapiripiti district.

Emmanuel Ochieng Project Legal officer (Action Aid) Support GBV shelters in Eastern Uganda said that the campaign was aimed strengthening the local structures , FGM surveillance team , both male and female action groups who have been doing sensitization at grass root level.

“We have met old men , women , cultural leaders, surgeons to find means of strengthening their income generating activities because surgeons have been earning 10,000 Kenyan shillings which is equivalent to 260,000 Uganda shillings per girl.”

Ochieng said that through the campaign, they encouraged all parents to take their children to school so as to reduce on cases of Child marriages which are still high in the region.

“We received commitments from old men pledging to take their daughter to school and marry them off at 25 years and above which is a great move. i know with support from partners we shall go along way in addressing FGM both in Sebei and Karamoja region.”

FGM Act of 2010

The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010 was enacted in March 2010 and states that female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) is an offense in which removal of part or all parts of the external female genital for non-medical reasons and the practice of FGM/C is prohibited.

Ever since it was passed, many people who still engage in FGM have knowledge about the act which has made them to continue practice the vice but through hiding.(no open celebrations before and after cutting of the girls and women as it used to be.)



































To Top