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Remove Kiosks from School,” Eastleigh Resients Demand

WhatsApp Image 2023 04 30 at 1.47.26 AM
WhatsApp Image 2023 04 30 at 1.47.26 AM

Parents and residents in Eastleigh are calling on the Nairobi County government for the demolition and closure of shop kiosks located outside a local primary school in the area.

They said the kiosks have posed a security risk to the residents and are a danger to the pupils of New Eastleigh Primary School.

The parents and residents of 1st Avenue, 9th streets said the kiosks have been set up despite directives from the national and Nairobi City County governments against the structures being located outside learning institutions.

Led by an opinion leader and local residence association official in the area Abdullahi Ahmed said the kiosks are making the school pose a security risk to both pupils and the residents.

They called on the Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja to save their children from dangers being posed by the kiosks for a safer learning environment by enforcing the directives issued by the previous county government and the national government against the structures.

“They are taking advantage of a change of guard at City Hall with Nairobi having a new Governor in office to unsuspectingly and illegally put up the structures,” they said.

They wondered why the area Member of the County Assembly (MCA) is silent saying he was sleeping on his job. “Our area MCA is aware of this situation at New Eastleigh Primary School and yet he has not said anything or taken any action. We are very disappointed with him and demand he comes out clear and states his stand on this matter,” they complained.

In 2015, Nairobi City County ordered the demolition and closure of kiosks stationed outside churches, mosques, learning institutions, and social halls.

In a statement, the office of the governor stated that some kiosks outside learning institutions provide cover for criminals to monitor the movement of students and plot attacks.

“The owners of such kiosks were given a seven-day notice to vacate and seek guidance from City Hall for alternative sites” the statement signed by the Director of Communication in the office of the Governor Walter Mong’are on behalf of the then Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero.

Apart from the threat to security, Mr. Mongare said, the kiosks outside learning institutions have been found to sell drugs to students.

He said kiosks, if necessary should be available inside the schools.

He said:” The office last week issued a notice to kiosk owners with or without licenses to remove any structures in specific commercial and residential areas after the city inspectorate team made a recommendation after an audit of the vulnerable security points around the city. The notice expires on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015.”

Mr. Mong’are said the move was meant to avert any impending criminal attack and activities.

“Rarely would you question the kiosk attendants who are often hidden in the dark kiosks outside your gate and this is where the security lapse starts” Mr Mongare added.

Three years ago, the government ordered regional commissioners to ensure no bars and kiosks are located within 300 metres of learning institutions.

The order, issued by the then Interior Principal Secretary Peter Thuku, sought to enforce the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act which has been abused, leading to an increased prevalence of drugs and alcohol in schools.
Mr. Thuku gave the order during the release of a report by the National Authority for Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) showing kiosks and bars as some of the sources of alcohol for primary school children.

According to the report, the most prevalent drugs in schools are tobacco, prescription drugs, and alcohol.
Shops and kiosks and bars near schools are the main sources of drugs and substances among primary school children, according to the report.

“The pupils were asked to identify where their colleagues obtain drugs and substances of abuse. The largest proportion of pupils indicated the shops or kiosks near schools (29 percent) and bars (26 percent),” says the report.

In 2019, the then Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i ordered the closure and demolition of all kiosks near schools in a move to fight drug trafficking in learning institutions. He claimed that the structures are hotbeds of drugs and drug peddling.

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