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NGO rescues woman whose house was destroyed over FGM

Ms. Kusuro, in front, holding Iron sheets donated by The REACH programme. Behind is the house being constructed for her. (PHOTO/David Mafabi)

KWEEN – A woman whose house was destroyed by the husband after she declined to take Female Genital Mutilation [FGM] has now got a new house.

This comes barely three weeks after PML Daily reported about the incident on 11 February; see “Man sets house ablaze after wife declines to take FGM”

The REACH programme, a Sebei based non-governmental organisation working to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) and fighting other harmful cultures that abuse women/girls’ rights partnered with the local people to construct the house.

Ms Beatrice Chelangat, the Director General of The REACH programme said at the delivery of iron sheets at Chemukula village in Kwosir sub-county in Kween district 28 February “Our humanitarian response includes supporting victims of FGM, protecting girl-child from harmful cultural practices like FGM and standing with the local people in all efforts to end FGM, that is why we have delivered these iron sheets to resettle this victim,”.

She explained that women disproportionately affected by FGM – many are stigmatized and forced into FGM – and many are chased away from their homes by husbands for failure to agree to get cut.

She, however, warned people against destroying houses meant for their spouses as a means of getting new houses from The REACH programme.

Ms. Betty Kusuro who was all happy while receiving the Iron Sheets said she would rally all village girls against FGM.

Ms. Kusuro suffered a setback following the destruction of her house by the husband after she declined to undergo Female Genital Mutilation.

Ms. Kusuro and her four children have been taking shelter in an old small kitchen say that their father Moses Chemisto stormed the home late on Saturday evening, set the fire on the house before fleeing.

Kusuro, 35, a mother of four, says that her husband asked her to get circumcised and that she declined and “even when he tried to force me, I refused because I don’t see the value of Female Genital Mutilation”.

She explained that he was very angry, promised to divorce her and even promised to burn the house if she did not give in to FGM.

Mr. Patrick Chemonges, the LCI chairman for Chemukula village, said although Mr. Chemisto is still on the run after destroying the house, they will still look for him to have him arrested and prosecuted over the case.

He revealed that Kusuro and the children have now what to call home and thanked The REACH programme for intervening.

He explained that even after the ban [FGM prohibition Act 2010], FGM still happens in secret at some homes in the hills, forests and across the border in Kenya.

Mr. Denis Musinguzi, the District Police Commander Kween, said they are still hunting for Chemisto and will ensure that he is arrested and brought before the Courts of Law. Ends

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