Banditry attacks in Baringo stop schools from opening

Saturday, January 28th, 2023 05:40 | By
Police officers deployed to tackle banditry. PHOTO/Courtesy.

More than 10 schools are yet to open in the banditry-prone Baringo county as their counterparts in other parts of the country report for first term.

 People Daily yesterday established that the situation has been aggravated by the killing of two people at Arabal in Baringo South sub-county last week.

Parents in the region yesterday said they were ready to take their children to school on condition they are assured of safety.

Resume studies

“We are ready for our children to resume their studies but the government should put in place measures to ensure that their studies are not disrupted by armed bandits roaming the area with impunity,” said Joseph Kibet, a resident of Kasiela in Baringo South sub-county.

It also emerged that some schools will require reconstruction after they were vandalised by the armed bandits and their equipment like solar panels and books stolen.

The worst hit schools in Baringo South include Embosos, Kasiela, Kapindasum, Arabal, Ramacha, Ngelecha, Naromoru, Ruggus in Baringo South sub-county.

Those affected in the neighbouring Baringo North sub-county are Kamwetio, Chepkessin and Chepkew primary schools.

Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren yesterday called on the government to fast-track the reopening of the schools for learning to resume.

“The government has all the machinery to ensure that normalcy returns to the region. What we is lacking is proper coordination from government agencies,” said Kamuren.

Contacted for comment, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Abdi Hassan assured parents that security has been beefed up in the area.

“An additional 200 National Police Reservists (NPRs) have already been vetted to help contain the banditry menace in the region,” Hassan told People Daily on phone.

Petty criminals

“These are petty criminals who are daring security forces and trying to create the notion that despite the heavy deployment they can still continue with their impunity,” added the administrator.

The banditry prone North Rift especially Kerio Valley has not known peace for the past one year.

Just last week, three people among them a Kenya Police Reservist (KPR) were shot dead at Koibirir area in Marakwet East by bandits suspected to be from the neighbouring Tiaty sub-county.

The dead brought to five, the number of people who have been killed in the banditry prone North Rift in the past one week despite government assurances that that calm has been restored in the region.

Shot dead

And on Monday this week, three people were shot dead at Koibirir in Marakwet East after herders from Tiaty crossed over to the Marakwet side resulting in a fierce shootout.

Last week’s killings at Arabal in Baringo South sub-county took place barely some hours after Mr Hassan and other top security chiefs in Rift Valley toured the region.

During his tour of the region in December last year, President William Ruto issued notice to bandits wreaking havoc in the North Rift that their days are numbered even as he directed security personnel in the area to ensure that all schools closed in the area are re-opened and provided with enough security.

“We want our people to focus on their daily economic activities. We are going to stand together to stamp out this menace. A criminal is a criminal and we deal with them as such.  One community should not be condemned for the sins of a few criminal elements,” said Dr Ruto.

President Ruto announced the reinstatement of 300 National Police Reservists (NPRs) and enlistment of another 150 to bolster security in the area which has seen the killing of more than 200 people in the past one year alone.

He also announced that chiefs and their assistants from banditry prone areas would be armed. Five police officers will be attached to a chief.

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