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Mau Eviction Diaries: Children Face Yet another Grim Future

In Sagamian Ward, Narok South Constituency which is part of the area the government has insisted residents must vacate, lie a bleak future for the children. The schools were deserted and from across the fences, children stared hopelessly at what used to be their classrooms.

Chebirbeleek Primary School is one of the 15 schools in Mau that the government has closed.

Mr. Kiprono Dickson, a teacher at Chebirbeleek Primary School speaks during an interview

Dickson Kiprono a teacher at Chebirbeleek Primary School reported that they opened school as they would have on any other school day. However, more than twenty rangers came and told them to leave the school compound. The school has seven teachers, five of whom are awaiting recruitment on permanent basis by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

“The Deputy President came here and promised that we would be employed by the TSC,” he said.

Although also unaware of what awaits them, Mr. Kiprono has insisted that they will keep opening the schools.

“I have told the children to go to school tomorrow. We will go to school as we have always gone.”

Mr. Kiprono also recalled the phase one of the eviction that saw the school life of thousands of children cut short. The children were later employed at the Nyayo Tea Zone that the government had helped establish by bringing them the planting materials. With the declaration of the tea farm a no go zone, about 2, 000 young people lost jobs. The tea centre is now the Loliondo camp for the rangers.

One of the schools that was brought down during phase one of the eviction

“The youths having lost their jobs have turned to drugs. Some are committing suicide out of stress. The number of criminals have gone up and they are these young people who never finished their schooling and later lost jobs they had seen as the only hope,” Mr. Kiprono told us while pointing at a classroom that its roof had been brought down during phase one.

The chairman of the school at which Mr. Kiprono teaches told us that the nearest school is five kilometres away.

Wycliffe Kimutai, Chebirbeleek Primary School chairman during an interview at the school

“I was here in the morning when 200 children came ready to learn but were sent away. If they close these schools, we do not know what will happen to the children. The nearest school which we can refer to as an alternative is five kilometres away and most of the children are very young and cannot walk that distance.”

The residents decry the fact that the children are going to end up like the phase one eviction children.

OCHIENG' OBUNGA
Ochieng' Obunga, a Writer at large, is the founding Chief Editor of Mobile Journalism Africa.

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