Kenyan fishermen on Migingo Island have protested Uganda’s forcible closure of the only Kenyan kindergarten on the island.
The preschool was recently set up following a collaboration between the office of the Migingo sub-location assistant chief and the locals.
Ms Esther Masaku, the Migingo sub-location assistant chief, says Ugandan security officers stormed the kindergarten and closed it on grounds that the island does not belong to Kenya.
Kenyans should vacate, the Ugandans said, according to Ms Masaku.
“This school was set up to serve the children of the locals here but unfortunately the Ugandan officials closed it down today claiming that it is a way of Kenya asserting her ownership of the disputed island,” Ms Masaku told the Nation.
The administrator said Ugandan officers based on the island said Kenya has no power to establish a school there before consulting the Ugandan government.
She added that they opted to respect the Ugandan officers’ order to close down the school to avoid unnecessary tension between Kenyans and Ugandans living on the island.
The assistant chief further said the closure of the nursery school had shuttered the dreams of many Kenyan children living on Migingo.
She called for an immediate intervention from Nairobi, saying many Kenyan children living on Migingo have never had an opportunity to access education.
She added that only a few children from the island whose parents either have relatives on Muhuru Bay or have rented them houses in the town have been able to access education.
Some of the fishermen termed the move by Uganda as “provocation” to them and urged the Kenyan government to intervene.
“The Ugandan authorities keep provoking us. Our children do not have any school to attend here and that is why this kindergarten was set up. By closing it, Ugandan officials want to deny our children education. We cannot accept this provocation,” said Mr James Okello, a fisherman.