Concern over safety of school children as new term begins

Police officer patrols Karnee Primary School after bandits attacked neighbouring Kapkosum village in March 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Baringo parents with learners in schools located in insecurity-prone areas have called on the government to ensure safety of their children as schools re-open on Monday.

They expressed their concerns when they met with the Rift Valley regional commissioner Abdi Hassan, who was on a familiarisation tour of Baringo South constituency.

At least 10 primary and secondary schools were abandoned last year by learners when their parents fled violence perpetrated by armed bandits who killed, maimed some and stole livestock from the villages.

Recently, President William Ruto issued a directive to the regional security committee to ensure that security was beefed up and families evicted from their homes returned in time for the re-opening of schools for the new term.

On December 28, 2022, former regional commissioner Mohamed Maalim went to the area with the entire security committee and assessed the situation before asking the residents to return to their homes.

On Wednesday, Hassan, who was accompanied by a multi-agency security team, education officials, the area MP Charles Kamuren and Mujutani MCA Paul Longisoi, returned to the area to ensure that villagers return to their homes and assured them of maximum security ahead of the new school term.

Ester Wendott, a resident Chemorong’ion, expressed her disappointment, saying that she would only allow her children to attend school after she is assured of their safety.

“Don't force us to allow our children to go back to school when bandits are around. This government must assure us of our security," said the mother of five.

Dr Hassan said that 10 national police reservists and six security officers would be attached to every school in the area faced with insecurity.

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