female genital mutilation

The UNICEF Enugu Field Office has pledged to assist the nine Imo State local government areas that have adopted the action plan for eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM) to the letter.

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Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, UNICEF’s Enugu office chief, stated yesterday in Owerri that the world body would create an enabling environment to effectively implement the action plan.

Conteh, who was represented by Mr. Benjamin Mbakwem, UNICEF’s FGM consultant for Imo and the Ebonyi States, added that multisectoral coordination, as well as data collection and utilization, would be strengthened to promote response to the action plan.

He urged LGA representatives to disseminate the message to their respective communities in order to ensure a more efficient implementation of the plan.

Imo State’s nine local council areas had agreed on an action plan to put an end to the age-old practice of female genital mutilation. At a one-day state-level meeting to validate FGM elimination organized by UNICEF and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Owerri representatives from the LGAs adopted and signed the action plan.

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Ehime Mbano, Ideato North, Ihitte-Uboma, Ikeduru, Isu, Ngor Okpala, Njaba, Oguta, and Owerri West are the LGAs.

The resolution was read aloud by Eze Albanus Ozuruoha, the traditional ruler of Uwaorie Agwa Autonomous Community, Oguta LGA, Imo State.

Ozuruoha, who thanked UNICEF for their commitment to ending FGM, vowed to ensure that the practice was completely eradicated in the affected LGAs.

“We, the representatives of the nine LGAs, have pledged to implement and monitor the action  plan to ensure that FGM is no longer practiced.”

“We are also committed to strict enforcement of the Imo State anti-FGM law of 2017, continuous education of mothers, and support of all efforts made by various communities to eliminate the obnoxious practice,” he said.

Representatives from the state Ministries of Women Affairs, Health, Budget and Planning, and the Governor’s Wife’s Office, as well as security agencies and traditional and religious leaders, attended the meeting.



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