Lamu leaders want government to intensify war against Alshabaab

Lamu East MP Athman Shariff PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu,KENYA:Lamu leaders are calling on the national government to intensify the war on Al Shabaab in the county in order to restore normalcy in the education sector in terror prone areas.

The leaders,deputy governor Abdulhakim Aboud and Lamu East MP Athman Shariff want security officers conducting the Linda Boni operation to do more to flush out Al Shabaab militants who are still believed to be hiding inside the Boni forest.

Speaking in Lamu on Monday,the two leaders said it was unfortunate that the children of the Boni community continue to be most affected by the situation as they are unable to get education like the rest of their counterparts across Kenya.

The areas of Basuba ward and Ishakani occupied by the Boni minority community on the Lamu-Somalia border are the most affected by frequent Al Shabaab raids and also the ongoing security operation that has made their lives difficult.

The Boni,a marginalized community,have found themselves on the edge as frequent attacks by militants resulted in the closure of all schools in the ward as teachers fled for their lives.

Four years down the line,the Boni child is yet to get the much needed education.

In Basuba ward for instance,all the five schools;Basuba,Milimani,Mangai,Mararani and Kiangwe primary schools remain closed.

Early this year,the then county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo ordered the immediate re-opening of all schools in terror prone areas and assured both teachers and learners of adequate security.

However despite the directive,only a handful of ECDE centres in the areas are operational under a number of local instructors hired by the county government.

All primary schools remain closed with a majority of pupils transferring to schools outside the county.

The two leaders have expressed concern over the manner in which education in terror prone areas like Basuba continues to dwindle by the day.

“As we speak, no teacher is willing to be posted to Basuba either by TSC or the county government. Everyone fears for his or her life while working in Basuba due to the security status of the area. As county government, we have gone to an extent of advertising for teachers to go and work in the area even if it will mean on contractual basis but no one is willing,” said Aboud.

They said the county was ready and willing to partner with the national government by providing all the necessary support possible that will see the war on Al Shabaab won.

“As county government, security is not our docket but I urge the government to intensify the crackdown for Al-Shabaab inside Boni forest. We want normalcy to resume in Basuba Ward so that locals can enjoy peace and for learning to happen. Currently,in Basuba people can’t go about their lives freely due to the insecurity issue.Schools remain closed.This cant go on,”said Shariff.

They however said they had confidence in the ongoing Linda Boni operation saying some of its successes were clearly visible for all to see.

“We just believe that more can be done to change the situation here and enable the children of Basuba to get education.

Photo of Lamu East MP Athman Shariff.