The search for an education can turn into a dangerous adventure for some learners in the country, with some forced to take some of the most dangerous routes to get to school.
Whether it’s encountering wild animals or facing attacks from dangerous groups such as bandits, learners often hope to make it to school safely and live another day to fulfill their dreams.
Here is a list of some of the most dangerous routes and challenges that Kenyan students face when going to school.
Tot high school bus that was attacked by bandits on Thursday, February 17, 2022.
1. Wild Animals
Students from the Maasai community in Kajiado and Narok counties often have to walk long distances to get to school. During the trip, they often come face to face with wild animals like elephants, monkeys and lions.
This is often due to the wildlife-friendly environment and the number of game parks and reserves in the area.
For the village of Kassiola in Kajiado, students often come face to face with elephants and hyenas. While many people are amazed by the sight of elephants, they are actually considered one of the most dangerous animals due to their large size and feet that can trample their victims.
In recent years, the Kenyan news cycle has been marked by banditry attacks, notably in Laikipia, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakawet and West Pokot.
In places like Kapedo, Baragoi, Lokori and Katilu, students often come face to face with bandits as they go to school in the morning. On February 18, 15 students from Tot Secondary in Elgeyo Marakwet were injured after bandits attacked their school bus as they were returning from a trip.
In some of these areas, the government has often been forced to impose curfews in order to protect residents and students living in the area.
Sometimes part of the students often have to deal with robbers and gangs as they go to school early in the morning.
For example, in parts of Gem, Yala and parts of Luanda in Vihiga County, students are often attacked by gangs known to use pangas to attack their victims.
4. Boat trip
In 2019, the story of Kokwa Island in Baringo went viral when students were filmed embarking on a dangerous boat ride to school more than 10 kilometers away.
The boat is so delicate that it was revealed that it only had to carry 10 students before the rest of the students were chosen.
Boat that capsized in Lake Victoria in May 2019
Also, due to the heavy rains that plague parts of the Lake Victoria region, Kisumu students have to use boats when the roads are flooded.
Besides facing the dangers of the boat capsizing, they also come face to face with animals such as crocodiles and hippos.
5. Shifta Groups
In some places in northern Kenya, such as Mandera County, there are frequent cases of terrorist attacks carried out by will change Al Shabaab groups and militia.
Some of these groups also use tactics such as placing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on the road to attack their victims. In January, more than four people lost their lives when a matatu they were using crushed an IED.
Other regions that have faced such skirmishes include El Wak and Mpeketoni. More often than not, the government is forced to impose curfew hours to protect students.
A bus bound for Mandera overturns after hitting an improvised explosive device on Wednesday March 24.