Anti-Female Genital Mutilation activists have developed a digital system for tracking and reporting such cases.
The system is expected to help handle the cross-border challenges promoting the vice along Kenya-Tanzania border in Migori.
The anti-FGM campaigners which include the local activists, journalists from Kenya and Tanzania, and NGO partners have come up with solutions to develop new mechanisms to outsmart the cutters.
Speaking during a cross border milestone assessment between Kenya and Tanzania, Rose Nazali from Tanzania based organization, PDF, noted that the system will not only help in reporting the vice but will also keep the reporter unanimous.
“We came to realize the communities are willing to cooperate with us in reporting matters FGM, however, the fear of retaliation from the cutters keeps them away. Therefore we had to come up with this digital system,” said Nazali.
How does the system works?
The system will report the exact location and time of the day where the activity is taking place.
This will help the law enforcers to maneuver very swiftly to the scene without raising any alarm.
“The community has the right information that the police needs to nab those carrying the vice. Through this system, we are sure no one will see the police coming,” she added.
The system is already up and running in neighbouring Tanzania and can be accessed using a mobile phone.
Vincent Mwita from Tunaweza Empowerment Kenya said their continued interaction with activists from Tanzania has borne fruits as they have learnt of this new technique used in Tanzania in the fight against FGM.
“One key critical issue that has come out is the economic empowerment of the reformed circumcisers. We need to help them get an alternative income-generating activity for them so that they do not backslide into cutting as a business,” he said.
He urged the government and other private sectors to come in and offer an alternative source of livelihoods to the reformed.
Charles Olwambo from AMREF noted that they have immensely invested in cross-boundary community engagement as it is a key to ending FGM along the borderline.
“We want to engage activists in Kenya and Tanzania to help monitor the activity so that when it happens on either side, there is no escape route for the perpetrators. That is why we are engaging the clan elders from both sides,” said Olwambo.
Olwambo cited the porous border, the spread Kuria clan elders in two countries and the disunity between the clan elders are other key challenging issues that are stumbling the Anti- FGM campaign.