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23.11.2005 Regional News

Community Abolishes Female Genital Mutilation

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Sherigu (U/R) Nov 23 GNA- The Chief and people of Bolga-Sherigu in the Upper East Region has abolished certain inimical cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), tribal marks, and the stripping of widows naked to perform rituals when their husbands pass away.

The payment of four cows as dowry before marrying a wife has also been reduced to two.

The Chief of Sherigu, Naaba Thomas Aluman Apasinaba, II announced these to newsmen during the celebration of the 'Naaba Yesika Festival' of the people of Sherigu.

The Chief said such inimical cultural practices were detrimental to progress and dehumanising to the human race, saying it was on these grounds that he and his elders decided to abolish them.

Naaba Apasinaba explained that he was able to stop the practices through the support of his sub-divisional chiefs. The Chief, however, appealed to the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly to help build more schools in the area, stressing that with the introduction of the Capitation Grants more pupils had been enrolled into the few schools in the area, thereby overcrowding the classrooms. This, he noted, was not enhancing effective teaching and learning.

Naaba Apasinaba impressed upon his people to register for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), saying this was the only way they could address their health needs.

The Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Isaac Nsoh Amoah, commended the chief and the people of Sherigu for abolishing the outmoded cultural practices and called on chiefs in other parts of the region to emulate them.

Mr Amoah admonished the people of the area to desist from bush burning. He explained that the current unfavourable climatic pattern in the region was due to bush burning which brought about deforestation and erratic rainfall patern.

He advised them to sleep in well-ventilated rooms to avoid contracting the cerebro-spinal meningitis, which was prevalent in the region during the hot season.

During the celebration of the Naaba-Yesika Festival, the chief, who is usually kept indoors for three months starting from September, is out-doored in November when he pours libation to thank the gods and ancestors for protecting his people during the season and for the good harvest obtained.

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