Saturday, December 12, 2009

Milling Machine For Makka Masireh.

The community of Makka Misireh in Wuli East, Upper River Region recently witnessed the inauguration of a milling machine to alleviate the drudgery of hard labour on rural women.
This information was contained in The Gambia Committee on Traditional Pracities affecting The Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), the German Embassy in Dakar through its office in Banjul donated a milling machine to the people of Makka Masireh, GAMCOTRAP the facilitators of the donation.
At the inauguration, the media dispatch released said that One hundred girls protected from female genital mutilation were paraded to welcome the delegates with a fanfare of ‘Kankurang’ dance and other traditional entertainment at Makka Masireh.
The community were amongst the representatives from fifteen communities around the community of Makka Misireh in Wuli East who witnessed the inauguration of a milling machine to alleviate the drudgery of hard labour on rural women. The machine is funded by the German Embassy in Dakar through its Banjul office.
In her inauguration speech, the representative of the German Embassy in the Gambia Ms. Anita Martin said the support to the women of Makka Masireh is to bring attention to the efforts of GAMCOTRAP in creating awareness to end female genital mutilation. She noted that while there is need to respect Gambian culture, efforts should be made to protect the girls from female genital mutilation and other harmful practices and help them realize their full potentials. Ms. Anita Martin informed the gathering that the Federal Republic of Germany is firmly against the practice of FGM and is pleased to be working with Gambians to end it. She noted that for both the government of the Gambia and the Federal Republic of Germany Female Genital Mutilation is a matter of health that is affecting the maternal and reproductive health of women and girls as well as the abuse of internationally recognized human rights conventions and standards.
In her statement, the Executive Director said GAMCOTRAP, Dr Isatou Touray, complimented the efforts of the German Embassy in providing a milling machine by funding the construction of the house for the machine by providing building materials. She thanked the community and Mamadou Kamateh for taking leadership in ensuring the successful and timely completion of the building. Dr. Touray commended the community for providing labour for the construction of the building and an indication of their support - to alleviate the drudgery of processing cereals on women. Speaking on the objective of GAMCOTRAP’s intervention in providing support to the women in the Makka Masireh cluster is the realization that it is one of the remote and socially excluded areas in the country and that the women are multi-tasked with difficult chores. They are faced with the task of the triple roles of reproduction, production and community management. She thanked the ex-circumciser, Kumba Damba of Makka Masireh for her sense of community in appealing for a milling machine which will benefit the communities that support her in her decision to stop FGM.
In her words of appreciation to GAMCOTRAP Kumba Damba noted that it was through her participation in training and awareness creation that she saw the need to stop female genital mutilation along with all the communities she served. She expressed joy in witnessing the inauguration of the milling machine that will benefit the Makka Masireh cluster communities. Other speakers included the Alkalo of the village, men and women’s representatives from the surrounding villages. Accordingly, the GAMCOTRAP community Based Facilitator for he area, Nafa Jabbai, read a declaration on behalf of the Makka Masireh youths naming of their football team GAMCOTRAP Football Club to show their commitment of the team to join the campaign to stop female genital mutilation. The villagers also appealed for taps to further alleviate the difficulty of drawing water from wells as deep as fifty to ninety meters. The availability of the milling machine at Makka Masireh will also provide girls with time to study, as most household chores are done by women and girls.

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