First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has told elders in West Pokot County to play an active role in eradicating retrogressive traditions like cattle rustling and female genital mutilation.
The First Lady said elders have the ability to influence the whole community to discard outdated practices if they performed their roles effectively as decision makers.
“If the elders say a definitive no to these challenges, the two problems will come to an end,” said the First Lady.
She spoke at Kapenguria Administration Police camp grounds where she handed over the 29th “Beyond Zero” mobile clinic to county leaders.
The First Lady said although West Pokot County has enormous potential, insecurity caused by cattle rustling has blocked its residents from prospering.
She regretted that insecurity in the County has robbed many families of loved ones and left many widows and orphans.
“This must now change so that your great county can write a new chapter in its history,” The First Lady added.
The First Lady said the retrogressive tradition of FGM has robbed many young girls of the opportunity to lead a normal and economically productive life.
She said the cultural practice has led many under-age girls to get married soon after undergoing ‘the cut’ and long before they can realize their full potential.
“This has robbed a whole generation of girls of the opportunity to get an education and has left them trying to provide for a family while they are still children themselves,” said the First Lady.
She urged the community to educate girls since education will enable them to exploit their full potential to be healthier mothers capable of raising stronger and loving families.
The First Lady said she looks forward to working closely with West Pokot County government to ensure access to healthcare to marginalized communities and especially pastoralists in the area.
Governor Simon Kachapin and Senator John Lonyang’apuo thanked the First Lady for championing the cause of women and children in the country.
“We are amazed that there could be one person among over 40 million people who doesn’t speak much yet in her heart she has a dream which has changed and saved lives of many,” said Senator Lonyang’apuo.
Governor Kachapin said the mobile clinic will be used to serve women and children in the remote areas within the county so as to save them from the challenge of traveling long distances for medical services.
Other speakers included Principal Secretary for Health, Khadijah Kassachoon, Members of Parliament Samuel Muoroto, Mark Emanikor, West Pokot Women Representative Regina Nyeris and Turkana County Women Representative Joyce Emanikor among others.