By The Star
Pastoralist men in Laikipia will receive nine cows for each of their daughters who are in school, Governor Joshua Irungu has said. This is an incentive to encourage girls to complete their education and reduce the number of child marriage.
Irungu made the announcement on Tuesday at a public meeting in Naiperere, Mukogodo West, in Laikipia North subcounty. Area MCA Paul Lebeneiyo said men are marrying off their daughters at an early age because of poverty.
Lebeneiyo said in the Maasai culture, the bride price for a young girl is nine cows. A cow currently sells for Sh50,000 and if the move is implemented, the county government will spend Sh450,000 from the public coffers to keep each girl in school. Some local leaders and members of other communities, however, criticised the move.
“What drove the governor to such kind of reasoning? That is tantamount to giving bribe because it is the right of every child, whether a boy or a girl, to acquire education,” said Paul Ndirangu, a resident of Kinamba, Laikipia West. Thingithu MCA Michael Kinyua said every parent has an obligation to take their children to school.
“Elders in the pastoral region should develop ways to punish parents who fail to take their children to school regardless of their gender,” he said.
Sammy Ndegwa, a resident of Ntukuma, said parents from other communities should also be rewarded for educating their girls. The father of three girls called on all parents to be responsible. The number of girls who complete standard eight is often less than half of those enrolled in standard one.
Narok County leading online newspaper.
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