NGO launches project to fight against FGM in Dodoma

20Nov 2019
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
NGO launches project to fight against FGM in Dodoma

A Non-governmental organization—Reaching the Unreachable Tanzanian (RUT) has launched a project against prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Dodoma Region, a key initiative which has so far reach -out to at least 963 people since its inception on July this year.

Dubbed: ‘FGM Free Generation Project’ (FFGP), the one -year project under the auspicious of Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) focuses to free societies in Kondoa and Kongwa districts from the high-profile atrocity against women and adolescent girls.

FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non- medical reasons. Such practices defined as the violence against the right of sexual reproductive health to the women and girls.

Organization’s Director of Policy Research, Monitoring and Advocacy, Richard Senkondo said over the weekend that the reached number include a total of 550 potential population of girls and women.

He pointed out that they have decided to execute the project in Dodoma due to a grim statistics over high prevalence of the illegal cut in different parts within the region.

“The Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (2015-2016) shows Dodoma is a second region in the country for FGM practices, still many projects to end such violence has been implemented in other regions and forget completely about Dodoma,” he observed.

He detailed that the project was using constructive and friendly approaches in efforts to slash the long-standing malpractice to zero, including conduction of awareness raising campaigns to impart communities with knowledge on diverse effects of practicing the ‘illegal cut’.

Moreover, he added, to eliminate the violence from grassroots level, the project was also bases on identifying the cutters, educate them, as well as assisting them to venture into different Alternative Income Generating Activities (AIGAs) through provision of initial capitals.

“In many areas, we have established that the cutters are perpetuating the gender- based violence (GBV) in order to generate income, often paid at least 5,000/-, whereby traditional local belief stands tall behind persistence of the bodily harmful misconduct,” he added.

According to him, in rural areas, due to poor belief, FGM is taken as a mechanism to uproot prostitution among women and girls “Societies in rural areas embracing negative notion that the cut plays major role in sidelining girls and women to engage into prostitution,” he observed.

“However, in some areas the cut is used as a way to enable women and girls to cheat encountering fungus diseases traditionally known as ‘Lawalawa’ in reproduction organs (private parts) due to poor knowledge that the disease is propelled by poor hygiene,” he pointed out.

For his part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RUT, Vitus Msangazi explained that the project was gearing to change general perception of targeted communities towards FGM, through seminars and trainings, distribution of fliers and public screening of diverse videos on effects of FGM.

“The project has established special clubs in primary and secondary schools with an eye to educate adolescence girls, but also, through the project’s intermediaries, potential populations within relevant societies continue to receive day-to-day knowledge against FGM,” he insisted.

With crucial mission to improve Sexual Reproduction Health (SRH) for women and adolescent girls, the target of the project is to deliver to at least 3,550 potential populations (women and girls) but also to ensure at least 3,550 victims of FGM are reporting and seeking psychosocial support from relevant authorities.

The Project, runs its activities in the wards of Thawi,Mnenia Itololo and Busi in Kondoa districts whereby in Kongwa the initiatives based in Chamkoroma, Chitego, Lenjulu and Kongwa wards.

Available data depicts that, among ten women in Tanzania, one is circumcised whereby 35 percent of among girls and widows undergone the brutal cut at the age of one year.

The government of Tanzania has developed many efforts to combat FGM practices, include establishment of the National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children (NPA-VAWC) 2017/2018-2010/2022), which made it clear that FGM practices is a traditional that affect women and children.