Reporter : CHINAZO ILECHUKWU
Five days after the people of Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State renounced the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), the National Orientation agency (NOA) with support from UNICEF has established a surveillance team to monitor women who are still within child bearing age in the area to ensure they do not tamper with the genitalia of the girl child.
To this end, sixty-two women drawn from thirty-one communities in the area have undergone a one-day training to equip them for the task of monitoring mothers and to sensitize them to the need to desist from any form of female genital mutilation.
Speaking at the event, which took place at the Council headquarters in Urualla, the Director National Orientation Agency in Imo State, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, said the beneficiaries would transfer the knowledge acquired to more women in their communities to increase awareness on the dangers of female genital mutilation.
Mr. Ekeocha urged the women to quickly report to traditional rulers anyone caught tampering with the genitalia of her daughter since the royal fathers had banned the practice.
Some of the participants, Mrs. Ifeoma Emechebe from Owerre-Akokwa Community and Mrs. Felicia Orji from Ndianyakee Arondizuogu, said the exercise had broadened their knowledge of negative effects of female genital mutilation and vowed to end the ugly practice.
Traditional rulers from the thirty-one communities of Ideato North LGA had during the public declaration threatened to fine and ex-communicate anyone that would indulged in female genital mutilation in the area.