Tepeth Want Revival of Culture

2909 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
Lotee revealed that the FGM practice was borrowed by the Tepeth through intermarriages with Pokot of Uganda and Kenya. He wants the revival of the Tepeth language and strengthening of elders associations to help guide the young generati

The Tepeth community has appealed to government and development partners to help revive it culture. The Tepeth community is one of the minority ethnic groups in Moroto district.  In October 2012, Moroto district together with partners recognised the Tepeth culture as one of the avenues to rally communities against Female Genital Mutilation- FGM, which has been practiced in the Tepeth community over the years.



 
Government outlawed the practice in 2010. FGM is practiced by Tepeth in Moroto, Pokot in Amudat and Nakapiripirit and other areas of Sebei sub region including Bukwo, Kapchorwa and Kween districts. Government through the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry and districts with support from UN agencies especially UNICEF and UNFPA have been engaging the affected communities in various activities including recognizing cultural days to abandon the practice.

 
Now, the Tepeth community says it is time to return to their original good cultural practices as the ban of FGM has sunk deep into the minds of the community.  Michael Lotee, an elder in the Tepeth community and chairperson of the ruling National Resistance Movement, NRM party in Moroto district, says as the community is quitting FGM, there's need to bring up some good cultural practices by the Tepeth.

 
Lotee revealed that the FGM practice was borrowed by the Tepeth through intermarriages with Pokot of Uganda and Kenya. He wants the revival of the Tepeth language and strengthening of elder's associations to help guide the young generation. 


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Albert Lokoru, the Tepeth County Member of Parliament says it's time to move on and empower the girls that have been saved from FGM. Information obtained from the Tepehth in Tapac and Katikekile sub counties indicates that 97 percent of the girls are at home. The enrolment in Tepeth schools is the lowest in Moroto district.

 
Lokoru highlights the need to embark on education and skills development to help 
communities cope up. 


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On Tuesday, the 6th Tepeth cultural day was held. The day was commemorated under the theme "Engage with communities to keep girls uncut and accelerate FGM/C abandonment".


Mohamed Satti, the UN official who represented all UN agencies at the function, says a lot has been achieved towards abandonment of FGM in Karamoja and Sebei sub regions. He notes that 103 villages in the three districts of Karamoja have collectively made public declaration for FGM/C abandonment. 

He called for more collective effort for FGM abandonment envisaged by 2030. "It is very inspiring to see a positive shift away from harmful social norms that have held FGM/C and negative cultural practices for generations, now being abandoned by communities. Personal commitment of individuals, political, cultural and religious leaders can bring increased understanding of the issues to local communities and help them stop the practice", Satti stated in his speech.