More than 400 school going children in Amudat District have fled their homes in the last 10 months for fear of being subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The children, aged between three and 12, have abandoned cattle keeping and enrolled in schools.
Most of the children are admitted to Kalas Boys and Girls primary schools in Amudat Town Council. A few are receiving their education at Katabok Primary School, among others.
Lotai Chepkiror, now in Primary Three at Kalas Girls Primary School, says she fled her home after seeing her sister die after undergoing the practice some four years ago. Chepkiror, who says the practice has made several girls to lose their lives, is appealing to the government to be tough on parents who offer their daughters for FGM.
Mr Stephen Nsubuga Bewaayo, the Resident District Commissioner, says some parents have been jailed for forcing their daughters to undergo the practice. Mr Bewaayo adds that several households have also realised the disadvantages of FGM and abandoned it. But Mr Benton Luke, the district inspector of schools, says education authorities have been overwhelmed by the big number of children running away from their homes, fearing that the number could have doubled by the end of the year.
Mr Luke adds that cases of children fleeing their homes rise between July and September during the mutilation season. He appeals to the government to put in place facilities that would support the children to stay in school.