Parents withdraw pupils from three schools in Laikipia over insecurity

A resident of Wangwaci village in Laikipia County flees with her children following rising insecurity, July 30, 2021. [Courtesy]

Parents have withdrawn their children from three schools in Laikipia County over rising insecurity.

Kabati, Mihango and Wangwaci primary schools in Ol Moran have been deserted even as local residents held demonstrations to protest cases of bandit attacks in the last two weeks.

On Wednesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi held a series of meeting with local leaders, ranchers and residents and reassured them of the government's commitment to protect them and their properties.

Dr Matiangi said military and General Service Unit (GSU) camps will be established in the area.

The CS, who was accompanied by Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and Laikipia North MP Sarah Korere, promised that more security officers would be deployed to the region to end rampant cases of insecurity. 

Interior CS Fred Matiangi at Naibor Anti-Stock theft camp, Laikipia County, July 28, 2021. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

He further ordered herders who have moved hundreds of livestock to graze on private land to move out within seven days.

"We cannot risk the lives of our children as the bandits strike even during the daytime. We want the government to act so that security is beefed up," said Mary Nyokabi.

She noted that in the last two weeks, at least 300 sheep had been stolen.

"The last incident was on Sunday night when bandits stole 30 sheep from my neighbour. On Saturday, they had stolen 50 sheep during the day," she said.

Ol Moran MCA Francis Karuiru asked the government to ensure local residents are protected.

Residents of Wangwaci village in Laikipia County flee following rising insecurity, July 30, 2021. [Courtesy]

He regretted that learners were now at home while pupils elsewhere were still continuing with their education.

Laikipia Knut Executive Secretary Jackson Thengei has warned that more schools will be closed if bandit attacks continue.

"This is a battle that we want to win. Our children must attend school and if the government fails to secure us, we will not take any risk," he said.

County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti said the government has begun implementing measures to curb insecurity in the area as directed by CS Matiangi.

He said Anti-Stock Theft Police Unit officers have already been deployed to the affected areas.