15 January 2013

Kenya: Teachers Flee Baringo, Pokot Over Insecurity

More than 400 teachers have abandoned work in parts of Baringo, Pokot and Turkana counties because of insecurity.

The most affected is Baringo where 10 schools have been closed over banditry attacks in Marigat district. Kenya National Union of Teachers official Jacob Arusei asked the government to provide security to schools and address the shortage of teachers in the marginalised areas.

Most of the teachers in the three counties have applied for transfers fearing for their safety.The 10 schools in Marigat remained closed for the second week.

More than 1,000 schoolchildren are among thousands of people who have fled from their homes especially in Arabal area which was attacked by bandits last week.

Schools which have been closed down are Arabal, Chetinginy, Ngelecha, Sinoning primary schools.Marigat DC Saul Muyaywa said the schools cannot be opened because of the insecurity.

Muyaywa said calm has however returned to the area, but the residents who fled, are still camping at the churches."We have deployed enough security and we are planning to have the schools reopen so that the affected children do not miss their classes lessons for too long," said Muyaywa.

He said the GSU, AP and the regular police have been deployed in the area will provide security to schools and to residents.The number of people displaced in Marigat due to the insecurity has risen to more than 10,000 in the last one week.

Muyaywa said government has sent in more than 100 GSU personnel along with other security teams to help restore calm in the area.Tension is still high especially in Arabal where many families have fled to the Muchongoi Catholic Church compound.

More than 10 people have been killed in retaliatory attacks between the Pokot and Tugen communities over cattle rustling in the last six months.

Some displaced people are camping in school compounds.Muyaywa said Kenya Red Cross is helping displaced families.In Pokot and Turkana teachers along with other civil servants are yet to report to work .

Their areas of work which are usually prone to banditry attacks, especially along the common borders touching the three counties.Teachers representatives said the situation was risky for them to report to work and that many children are yet to return to schools.

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