• With just two months to the national examinations, several schools in the area are on the verge of being shut due to insecurity.
• Although Interior CS Fred Matiang'i has ordered additional deployment of security officers to the region, local leaders say the problem is getting out of hand.
At least 10 people have been shot dead by bandits in one week in the Kerio Valley.
Hundreds of residents have fled their homes and leaders want President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and stop the violence in the region.
Although Interior CS Fred Matiang'i has ordered additional deployment of security officers to the region, local leaders say the problem is getting out of hand.
On Saturday, one of the victims was shot dead and his body set on fire in Baringo, while in Elgeyo Marakwet a herder was killed outside Tot Subcounty Hospital.
With just two months to the national examinations, several schools in the area are on the verge of being shut due to insecurity.
Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Wesley Rotich said bandits are now targeting women, children, schools and hospitals.
“This is no longer banditry as was the case before. They are now killing women and children and targeting hospitals. We have been pushed to the wall. We urge President Kenyatta to hear our cry and intervene,” he said on Saturday.
Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono said leaders from the region have decided to travel to Nairobi to seek an audience with the President and Matiang'i.
“If they are not coming down to help save our people, then we will go to Nairobi to look for them. The government has the capacity to fight the criminals troubling our people,” the legislator said.
Deputy Governor Rotich said although CS Matiang'i has in the last one week taken measures to end the problem, more needs to be done in a region where over 80 people have been killed in one year.
“We need more deployments and more police stations along the valley to help fight banditry as we continue to search for long term solutions,” he said.
Many development activities in the valley have stalled due to the insecurity.
Communities and leaders want the government to deploy National Police Reservists (NPRs) to help fight bandits.
Immediate former Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya, while resigning last week, said tougher measures need to be put in place to end banditry in the Kerio Valley.
He called for more commitment to peace by leaders from the affected communities.
"Voluntary disarmament has not worked and the time has come to consider forceful disarmament because there are so many illegal guns in the wrong hands in that region,” he said.
Edited by A.N