Government bans night canoe movements across River Tana

The government has imposed an immediate dusk to dawn ban on the movement of dugout canoes across the River Tana in Galole constituency of Tana River County.

The move, according Galole Assistant County Commissioner David Mutua, is aimed at combating insecurity following intelligence reports that terrorists were planning to cross the river and launch attacks in the constituency.

The canoes are the main means of transport used by farmers, majorly the Pokomo, to cross the crocodile-infested river to and from their farms along the river banks due to lack of bridges.

The administrator directed all chiefs and their assistants to ensure that all canoes were docked on the Tana River County side of the river by 6.00 pm daily, chained and locked and the padlocks surrendered to the police.

He was speaking in a series of meetings in Chewani and Mikinduni location during sensitization meetings on the work of recently formed child protection committees.

He reminded the local residents that security was a collective responsibility and impressed upon them to expose suspected criminals, noting that no meaningful development could be achieved in an insecure environment.

Mr. Mutua at the same time banned all night discos saying they were responsible for the poor school enrolment and teenage pregnancies in the division.

The ACC told chiefs to ensure that all children of school going age were in school and warned that parents who would keep their children out of school would be arrested and prosecuted.

It is saddening to note that this division is leading in this county in the number of students who have not reported to form one this year, Mr. Mutua said. He urged members of the various communities in the area to co-exist peacefully and avoid divisive politics.

Early last week, Tana River Deputy County Commissioner Michael Kioni, said the Al Shabaab militants were frantically trying to cross the river to cause mayhem in the sub county.

He said the Sub County Security and Intelligence Committee had directed that all canoes be accounted for to prevent the militants from forcing operators to cross the river to the county.

Our aim is to account for every dugout canoe (mwau) being used to cross the river with a view to denying the militants a chance of using them to cross to this side of the river, Mr. Kioni told journalists.

Source: Kenya News Agency