Sixteen students from Homa Bay County who survived the Garissa University College Massacre have a reason to smile after they received Sh 480,000 from the County government.
Governor Cyprian Awiti said he had directed that the students be given Sh 30,000 each as they prepare to rejoin Moi University next week.
â€œWe empathize with these students because they escaped from the jaws of death. They lost their belongings in the terror attack and many of them are still traumatized,â€ Mr Awiti said when he met the students at his office yesterday.
He said the County lost two students and a policeman in the Garissa attack.Mr Awiti also announced that the County was willing to help the students overcome the trauma they experienced as a result of the attack.
â€œWe will want to closely monitor the students to ensure they fully recover from what happened to them. We will give some of them industrial attachments during their holydays. We will also reach out for development partners who could bewilling to help them get scholarships and socio-economic assistance,â€ said Mr Awiti.
The Governor told the students to ensure they completed their studies to a shame the terrorists who had wished to decimate the entire student population at the College.
â€œYou will only be able to tell the sad story of your escape from the terror attack if you complete your university education. I expect you to put the little money we have given you today to better use,â€ said the Governor.
Mr Awiti was accompanied by his Deputy Hamilton Orata and the County Executive member for Education, Mr Naftali Mattah. He said the County was finalizing plans to open the Tom Mboya University College, expected to open admit its first students in September this year.
â€œThe fact that many of our students threw caution to the winds and travelled to seek education in Garisa is proof of high demand for higher education. This is why we are starting a Public University in Homa Bay,â€ said Mr Awiti.
He criticized some elected leaders who he said were opposed to the establishment of the new University.
While government paid for expenses of the students who were killed during the attack, the surviving students seem to have been forgotten, with many struggling on their own to make personal arrangements to join Moi University, Eldoret.