Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet has experienced a lot of insecurity recently. It means that learning cannot continue as usual.
To counter that, the government has resorted to deploying security officers in Kerio Valley as a way to prepare the region for the incoming National examinations. Elgeyo Marakwet has been characterised by violence and internal unrests arising from constant conflicts among neighbouring communities. Most of these violence and internal unrests are as a result of cattle rustling.
As students are preparing to sit for their national examinations, security is one of the key elements that need to be present for students to sit for their national examinations. Guaranteeing them their right to security, will provide a harmonious environment for the students to prepare and sit for their examinations.
Government’s way of providing security in the region is by beefing up patrols on foot and providing vehicles for security officers that can be used for quick response purposes. Additionally, schools that are near zones experiencing attacks, will be provided with armed security officers to ensure students are safe as they prepare for their incoming national examinations.
Residents of attack-prone areas are to be in close proximity with the police because they are conversant with the area, making it easy for the police to patrol.
However a more sustainable approach to the security issue in the area needs a more inclusive approach that is more sustainable and will0 plant a seed for peaceful coexistence among communities living in the area. Employing a soft approach compared to a hard approach to the security concern in the area, will yield much needed results.
‘Hard’ security requires soldiers and heavily armed paramilitary troops as the primary agents of defence, whereas ‘soft’ security, although it too may sometimes require soldiers as agents, depends crucially on expert policy-planners and designers, who are typically and most commonly, although not necessarily and exclusively civilians.
Soft approach which requires a lot of dialogue, leans towards cooperation and intensive search for the cure to the source of conflict and disputes. Soft security strives to ensure the goal of individual security without resorting to armed coercion. This ensures that civilian rights are not violated by the law enforcement units.
The soft security strand affords leeway to understand the rise of new insecurities that endanger people and state integrity, this forecasts on any possible threats and a solution begins to be generated before any harm is caused.
This is the approach the Kenyan government should be exploring, in order to find lasting peace in the Kerio Valley, ensuring human security and safe space for children to pursue their educational rights and dreams. .