Lamu residents opt for water transport over fear of terror attacks

Lamu residents opt for water transport over fear of terror attacks

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Boats parked at one of the harbours in Lamu. FILE/PHOTO.

Lamu, KENYA: Residents of Kiunga in Lamu East want the national government to enhance security along all roads leading into the region to curb attacks from  Alshabaab.

Many locals are now reluctant to travel by road for fear of being attacked by the Alshabaab militants who have mostly been targeting military, police and passenger vehicles along the Hindi-Kiunga road.

Locals are now opting for water transport to and from Lamu,a move they say is both expensive and life threatening considering the rough tides on the routes used.

Transport is now being hampered to a large extent and the residents now want the government to do something about it.

Speaking when Baraka FM visited Kiunga on Monday,the locals have appealed to the government to increase the number of police and military patrols in the area and especially the main road.

“Travelling to and from Kiunga to Lamu by road can cost one about Sh.500.By boat, the amount doubles to Sh.1000.The tides are so bad now and the routes used to cross to Lamu are very dangerous as it is,”said Mohamed Shimu.

They have also appealed to the government to lift a ban imposed in Kiunga forbidding them from fishing at night.

The ban has lasted for five years since it was imposed in 2011 following increased incidents where tourists were abducted from Lamu by Alshabaab militants; saying it had badly affected the economy and tourism sectors.

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Over 90% of Kiunga residents who depend on fishing for survival have called on the Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery to lift the ban.