KNA The fate of about 2, 000 learners in the insecurity-prone Laikipia West constituency hangs in the balance after their schools were closed down due to banditry attacks and livestock thefts in the area.
The five schools; Wangwachi, Bondeni, Kabati and Mirango Primary schools as well as Kabati day Secondary school remained closed days after schools across the country reopened for first term.
Parents in the affected areas have continued to raise concerns regarding the security of their children.
On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 20 homes in Wangwachi and Bondeni villages in Ol Moran ward that neighbours the volatile Laikipia Nature conservancy were attacked and unknown numbers of livestock stolen by armed bandits.
Joseph Kipkemboi, a resident of Wangwachi village, pointed out that even security officers deployed to restore order were being attacked.
“We were attacked on Sunday night. Our attackers carried huge G3 riffles and AK47 guns. It’s unfortunate that the attack happened a few days after Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i was in Laikipia North warning illegal grazers,” he said.
“The government disarmed police reservists that I was part of. Our guns were shelved and now this area has been a playground for bandits,” he mourned.
“I am ready to protect my family, livestock and my community free of charge, if the government arms us,” cried Kipkemboi.
The residents said that hundreds of livestock have also been driven away from the area by armed criminals despite an ongoing security operation to disarm them.
“The perennial insecurity menace has impacted negatively on school enrolment over the years with dropout rates going up by day,” said Gladys Wangeci pleading for an armored vehicle, to serve the volatile area.
The residents who by Friday morning were fleeing the area have called for intervention of Interior CS saying that the government was making efforts to restore peace in ranches in Laikipia North while leaving out smallholder farms in Laikipia West.
They have since vowed not to take their children back to school until their security was assured of and peace is restored.