By Rosemary Wachiye
The County Government of Bungoma has trained over 500 circumcisers from the Bukusu and Tachoni communities on safe traditional circumcision.
The training is in preparation for forthcoming circumcision period that kicks in August this year in Bungoma County.
The circumcisers were trained on better health practices of using one knife per child during circumcision to avoid spread of HIV/Aids.
Each of the circumcisers was awarded a certificate that recognizes them as official circumcisers after the training workshop at the Kenya Red Cross, Kanduyi.
This year’s theme for the practice in Bungoma being, ’sikhebo silayi, khukhusie lulwibulo’ translated to mean ‘circumcision is good, let us nurture our generation’.
Area Deputy Governor, Charles Kibanani Ngome, called for the conservation of the river banks used for the circumcision custom, saying that for tradition to be promoted, circumcision sites will be fenced and protected.
“The County government will release funds towards the protection of cultural sites for promotion of the circumcision traditions in Bungoma County,” said Mr Ngome.
Prof. Ngome also affirmed the County Government’s support of the tradition to ensure safe cut to the young initiates by providing ambulances equipped with medicine to offer First Aid services in all Sub Counties in case of accidents occurring in the process of circumcision.
Youth, Culture and Sports, CEC Member, Ms. Everlyne Kakai, has laid emphasis on the importance of prioritizing health while performing traditional circumcision.
Ms. Kakai acknowledged that the communities’ traditions had similarities with neighbouring Uganda communities.
She said there will be an exchange program to allow the Kenyan circumcisers to travel to Uganda on August 11 this year to share their cultural experiences on circumcision.
“I urge all the registered circumcisers to follow the law and guidelines on circumcision and not to engage in the practice before or after the stipulated dates. In so doing, they will be going against our traditions and will be subjected to a penalty,” warned Ms. Kakai.
Ms. Alice Wafula, the County Director of Culture, noted that circumcision ceremony aims at promoting cohesion of different communities and therefore sounded a stern warning against those who force the act on members of other communities that do not practice it to cease from doing so.
Bukusu Chairman, Mr Richard Walukano, stated that there was an agreement on circumcision guidelines and laws passed on July 4, 2016 that that govern the circumcision tradition.
Mr Walukano called upon the circumcisers to follow those laws and perform the act well in order to gain the support of all stakeholders both from executive and legislative arms of County Government.
“For us to change the current generation of drunkards and irresponsible youth, it is the responsibility of circumcisers to instil good morals to the initiates,” said Mr. Walukano.
Two nurses from Bungoma County Referral Hospital Mrs. Alice Wakora and Caroline Makokha enlightened the circumcisers on health practices while performing the tradition.
They urged them to practice personal hygiene in order to prevent the initiate’s wound from contacting germs.
They were trained to perform the cut keenly and in clean environment to avoid being cut in the process since the blood from the cut may mix and contract diseases.
County Assembly Committee for Gender and Culture led by Vice Chairman of the Committee Geoffrey Mukhwana and Chairman of the Circumcisers in Bungoma Mr. Joseph Nyongesa were in attendance.