By Isatou Jawara
As the fight on the total and complete eradication of FGM in the Gambia continues, the Child and Environmental Development Action, CEDAG with support from the Girl Generation, are implementing a six-month project dubbed Integrated Community Action Against (ICAA) FGM.
Lunched in the North Bank Region of the country, the project is designed to target communities and schools, with a view to enhancing their understanding and capacity as agents in ending FGM.
CEDAG is a Non-Governmental Organisation engaged in working with communities and schools to improve teaching and learning.
Sariba Saidy is the Project Manager for ICAA. She underscored the need for all stakeholders to join the force in creating more public awareness on anti FGM act and its effects on the health of women and girls.
She noted that Peer Health Educators at school levels are crucial in creating and strengthening awareness among students and communities on public health issues, citing the practise of FGM in society.
She said her agency is committed in complementing government’s efforts in reaching out to communities and schools to ensure appropriate action and decision are reached to stop the practice.
She lauded religious scholars and health officers for their invaluable support in working with CEDAG to share some of the health complications women and girls face due to the effects of FGM.
She also praised the government for putting up of laws that would protect the health of women and girls and by extension promote their fundamental human rights.
Oustass Papa Jassey of Kerewan Senior Secondary School, said the practice is not in line with the teachings of Islam. He called on the religious scholars to help in educating the public on the role of Islam, as the practice is deeply rooted culturally.
Haruna Kuyateh of Worldview Office in Kerewan called for effective message dissemination among students and parents in order to end the age-old harmful traditional practice. He said enactment of laws in combating FGM by the government, would contribute to improving the health of girls and women.
Langjanteh Singhateh, the alkalo of Saaba, thanked CEDAG for building his community’s awareness on the negative effects of FGM on the lives of women and girls. He called for its immediate and unconditional halt, calling on other alkalolu and opinion leaders to complement government’s efforts in banning the practice.
Musukebba Balajo, a women leader of Saaba, echoed similar statements.