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Teachers avoid school as banditry persists

Thursday February 8 2018

banditry

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo visits Kamelei on February 3, 2018 where houses were burned in attacks. The county is working to address banditry. PHOTO | OSCAR KAKAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WYCLIFF KIPSANG
By WYCLIFF KIPSANG
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OSCAR KAKAI
By OSCAR KAKAI
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Teachers working in schools in West Pokot County are now seeking transfer following attacks by bandits.

Some of the schools that have been closed are Kapushen, Kamelei, Ptsonu, Sopowen, Tarak, Tapach, Pialang and Kamonges primary schools.

Also affected is Kamelei and Tapach secondary schools.

West Pokot branch Knut executive-secretary Martin Sembelo on Thursday said more than 20 teachers from the schools have since been moved out of the stations after they sought transfer fearing for their lives.

“More schools risk closure due to the perennial attacks,” he said.

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POLICE RESERVISTS

West Pokot County director of education Jarred Obiero said the attacks were affecting learning in the region.

“Gunshots have been the order of the day in the area, making teachers and learners to stay away from schools for fear of being attacked,” he said.

Pokot Central deputy county commissioner Geoffrey Kithinji said the teachers have kept off schools despite assurances of their safety.

“We deployed police reservists to these schools but the teachers are nowhere to be seen,” Mr Kithinji said.

DISPLACEMENT
Tension is high after two people were killed in the recent attack last week on Friday.

Residents are now fleeing the area after an unknown number of livestock were stolen and more than 250 houses torched during the attack.

The attacks have led to the displacement of more than 2,000 people.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo and his Elgeyo-Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos have condemned the incessant attacks on the porous boundaries and urged the warring communities to embrace peaceful co-existence.

“This region is rich in agriculture because we have milk, Irish potatoes, pyrethrum and Merino sheep, but there will be no meaningful development without peace,” Prof Lonyangapuo said.