More than 5,000 people displaced due to bandit attacks in Baringo county have appealed for food, water, shelter and clothing and urged the government to end the deadly raids.
Most of them have been hiding in the bush and have been separated from their relatives and friends. As she boarded a Kenya Red Cross Society vehicle at Chebinyiny on Tuesday, Gladys Sokome said, “I don’t know where my three other children are. Here I am only holding my one-month-old child as I flee to an unknown destination.”
She said the bandits attack from 6am. “We have since been in the bush without taking anything for breakfast and lunch,” she said.
Sokome was taken to Nyimbei Primary School where 2,000 displaced residents are camping. Suspected Pokot bandits have attacked residents of Baringo North and South in the last five days, killing and injuring them and destroying property.
In the last week, five people have been killed, six injured and hundreds displaced. Most days, they hear the Kenya Police Reserve officers and police officers exchange fire with the bandits not far from their camps.
William Kandie, a teacher at closed Kosiela Primary School, said, “I want to be told exactly if we are in Kenya or not.” He said eight other schools in the area have been closed, including Nyimbei, Chebinyiny, Arabal, Chemorongion, Sinoni, Kapkechir and Tuyotich primary and secondary schools.
Kandie said the bandits also vandalised and stole equipment at Kapndasim and Embosos dispensaries.
On Monday, bandits shot dead a woman and her three–day-old baby at Natan village, Baringo North. The woman and hundreds of residents were fleeing attackers who opened fire for six hours from 2pm.
Displaced Baringo North residents are camping with their children and livestock at Kapkomon, Rondinin, Sibilo and Tebengar. They also need food, water, shelter and clothing.
More than 800 others are camping in Mochongoi and Kabel in Baringo South. Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi visited the displaced residents on Tuesday and their condition brought him to tears.
He questioned whether the county is part of Jubilee. Cheboi condemned the killings and asked Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to visit and ensure better security.
He asked them to supply a surveillance chopper to trace the bandits to their hideouts.Rift Valley regional coordinator Wanyama Musiambo gave the bandits three days to stop the attacks, failing which the government will take harsh action to restore peace.