Lamu county commissioner orders re-opening of all schools in terror prone areas


Lamu, KENYA: The county administration of Lamu has ordered the immediate re-opening of five schools in terror-prone Basuba ward in Lamu East that have been closed for three years owing to frequent al Shabaab attacks.

The five schools are Basuba,Milimani,Mangai,Mararani and Kiangwe primary schools all of which border the infamous terror-ridden Boni forest.

The schools have been closed since 2014 when teachers fled the area in fear of their lives following intensified al Shabaab attacks.

All the schools fall within areas occupied by the Boni minority community that is also considered marginalized.

Speaking in Lamu on Wednesday, Lamu county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said security had been intensified all across Basuba and in areas where the schools are located and that as such there was no reason for the learning institutions to remain closed.

Kitiyo said adequate arrangements had been made with the concerned parties to ensure teachers and tutors are deployed to teach in the five schools by Monday, January 29.

He urged parents to take their children back to school and warned of dire consequences for any parent who shall be found still keeping their children at home when they are required to be in school.

Kitiyo has also directed the immediate re-opening of two schools; Ishakani and Pandanguo primary schools in Lamu east and west respectively that were closed recently following al Shabaab raids and attacks in their areas.

“The schools in Basuba must be opened by Monday.The same applies to the Ishakani and Pandanguo primary schools.We have put up adequate security measures that will ensure learning in these schools shall proceed peacefully and safely for both the learners and teachers.Parents must send their children to school now.It will be a crime if anyone will be found still keeping their children at home beyond next Monday.We have made arrangements for teachers and tutors to work in those schools,” said Kitiyo.

Linda Boni operation director Joseph Kanyiri has on his part called on teachers working in terror-prone areas in Lamu to stop being timid to deliver their mandates ostensibly for security concerns.

Kanyiri said the areas are fairly stable for teaching and learning to take place.

He reiterated that security in the areas was optimal in a manner that can enable teachers to deliver their mandate.

Kanyiri lashed out at teachers who are hesitant to report to work in the terror-prone areas saying the preference to work from comfort zones shall not be tolerated by any state department.

“Kenyans are entitled to government services and any dithering in service delivery shall be dealt with expeditiously.People should stop fretting, panicking and being timid to work in the name of security concerns.The security in Basuba is fairly stable for learning to happen,” said Kanyiri.

He added “Let the schools be opened. I also appeal to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to send enough teachers to Basuba Ward. The government has done a lot to stabilize security in those villages and people should stop over-emphasizing on the state of security there. The public servants shouldn’t hide behind insecurity so as not to report to work,” said Kanyiri.