25 teachers working in terror-prone Boni Forest airlifted in military chopper to schools

A Kenya air force UH-1 Huey takes off after rescuing a simulated isolated pilot during the final demonstration of African Partnership Flight Kenya 2019. Larisoro Air Strip, Kenya, August 24, 2019. This year's APF Kenya was co-hosted by the U.S. and Kenya and shared best practices regarding personnel recovery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Renae Pittman)

A multi-agency security Operation Amani Boni (OAB) team led by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) coordinated the ferrying of the teachers and their luggage back to their working zones from the Mokowe Airstrip.

Mangai, Mararani, Milimani, Basuba, and Kiangwe primary schools had remained closed for a week after the teachers failed to report back to the institutions due to transport challenges.

Lamu Education Director Joshua Kaaga thanked the security agencies for their effort in ensuring the over 400 pupils in Boni forest resume learning like the rest of Kenya.

Mr Kaaga said his office will continue partnering with the security department to ensure education activities in all the hard-to-reach areas of Lamu, particularly Boni forest, take place.

“The security department is a crucial partner on this. Our military people have done their best to ensure there’s peace and stability in Boni forest villages which is conducive to learning. As you head there, be informed that we’re with you and we shall ensure your welfare is fully taken care of,” said Mr Kaaga.

Lamu County Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director Riziki Daido said at least 30 more teachers will be posted to serve in Boni forest schools in the ongoing teacher recruitment.

Lamu Deputy County Commissioner Charles Kitheka assured the tutors working in Boni forest that their security is guaranteed.

“We were in Boni forest recently and I am happy to report that the place is well secured by our KDF and other security agencies. Boni forest is peaceful and there is no cause for alarm. I urge you to go there with all your confidence. Serve those pupils all-heartedly, knowing very well that the government is protecting you,” said Mr Kitheka.

The move by the security agencies to airlift the teachers to Boni forest schools follows a recent visit by the multi-agency Operation Amani Boni officials, led by Major General Officer Commanding Eastern Command, Juma Mwinyikai.

The tour was meant to address locals’ concerns on the state of security, health and education.

During the visit, Major General Mwinyikai had promised to coordinate with the education office and other stakeholders to ensure a military chopper is offered to ferry the teachers back to Boni forest as soon as possible.

“I am happy to hear from the locals themselves that through our efforts as security agencies, peace and stability is being witnessed in Boni forest. We shall coordinate with the devolved government so that the other challenges still faced can be addressed for the betterment of mwananchi living here. As for the teachers, we shall organize to have them ferried to these schools very soon,” said Mr Mwinyikai.


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