Persistent burning of properties in secondary schools attributed to terrorism and violent extremism if not checked could spiral into a major crisis across the country.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner (RC) Magu Mutindika warned that if not handled carefully, the problem could turn out to be a major security risk not only in Western Kenya but countrywide.
Mutindika said the students bubbling with energy should be given the right direction in order to curb escalating cost of destruction which parents will have to incur if the declaration by the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. George Magoha was anything to go by.
“Going by what is happening in our schools, the students if not handled properly can be a major security risk and so we must ensure our region remain safe and secure,” the RC reassured.
He made the remarks while launching an inter-governmental stakeholders’ agencies training forum for the county and sub-counties convened at a Kisumu hotel today.
The rate at which the dormitories were being torched in schools was unusual even as the learners accused the school authorities of high-handedness, said Mutindika.
“This argument holds no water as these are the same teachers who have been managing the learners over time,” he argued.
Mutindika said all schools were not safe citing what happened at Maranda high school in Bondo last night with the learners sent home indefinitely.
Speaking to the participants earlier-on, Mutindika noted that terror attacks and violent extremism has had negative impacts on the tourism sector which sometimes took as long as five years to recover.
He advised stakeholders to help rally the citizens to understand that security of the country rests on the shoulders of all of us.
The RC sounded a warning that whereas the terrorists who promote violent extremism harboured false hope of taking charge of some countries in Africa, they must be stopped at all costs.
“Terrorists have scaled up their tactics and built massive artillery with elaborate global networks to cover their tracks and have no mercy for human life,” he emphasized.
He said the forum sponsored by Netherlands Government, a key partner towards fighting terrorism by creating champions for peace, would last for 18 months and focuses on the youth proven to be more vulnerable to such negative initiative.
The peace programme covers ten counties in western Kenya region of Migori, Homa Bay, Siaya, Nyamira, Kisii and Kisumu (Nyanza) as well as Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Trans –Nzoia (Western).
Kenya Government Affirmative Fund which is controlled by the respective Women Representatives is also aimed at empowering the marginalized group including women and girls with bursaries targeting the very needy learners in society, he pointed out.