Police in Embu have rescued seven girls who had been targeted for the female genital mutilation ceremony (FGM) in Gichiche area, Mbeere South Sub County.
Four of the girls were about to face the “knife” while the other three had already been “circumcised”.
Embu County Commissioner Esther Maina who accompanied the victims as they were brought to Embu Teaching and Referral Hospital for examination said they had arrested the circumciser and two parents.
She said the girls most of them cousins aged between nine and 11 years, are pupils at Igumori primary school.
She said the girls in Standard Four and Five had been forced into the house of the old woman by their parents to undergo the cut when they received reports by residents and swung into action.
“The other parents escaped and we are after them. The girls are very young and have been hugely affected by the ordeal. They are traumatised and embarrassed. We plan to put them into counselling programmes and afterwards into an institution where they will be secure,” said Maina.
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The County Commissioner said the parents of the girls still believe in FGM adding that extensive sensitisation is required to curb the menace in the county.
The administrator said they have intensified efforts to rid the county off FGM and were working closely with National Government Affirmative Action Social Development Fund in alternative rite of passage programmes meant to ensure girls are not circumcised during the festive holiday.
She said the security team is on high alert this December holidays given that the practice has been occurring during this period in the County, especially in the upper parts of Embu and the Mbeere region.
John Mbaka, the area MCA, said the incident came as a shock to him and he was worried that the victims could be at risk of infections as the circumciser is untrained and used the same knife.
He criticised parents who still believe in FGM and vowed to start a campaign to sensitise such parents to abandon the practise.