I moved to Garissa in early 2008. My family and I decided to settle here because we were targeted during the post-election violence.
We left because we feared being victims of the attacks.
In the 2007/2008 political chaos, Garissa did not experience any form of violence compared to other counties.
The county was very peaceful hence attracted many citizens living in affected areas.
My life in Garissa has been very smooth partly because of the people here.
They are very welcoming and peaceful.
I have never experienced any form of discrimination incident from residents here.
With such attacks going on, I feel scared because non-Muslims are often targeted.
But what people are forgetting is that the terrorists are aiming to divide us.
When I get angry and leave, they will be winning.
Nelson Otieno, 32, Construction worker
If there is anyone’s heart that beats for the good of Garissa County, that person is me.
I was born and bred here 32 years ago by a father who wholeheartedly worked for the wellbeing of this county.
He was a staff member of the then Provincial Commissioner’s office in Garissa.
People here are good, friendly and warm.
I played with them, went to school with them, was treated with them in hospitals and now I work for them.
Over the years, I’ve seen this town grow both economically and politically.
But the recent events of killings by terror gangs has left me with nothing but prayer.
Prayer that all this would stop and I’ll be living a peaceful life.
Nothing will prosper if the area is in turmoil.
I have a family here and nowadays, I prefer praying with them at home and not go to church for fear of being attacked.
Jeremiah Okello, 30, High school teacher
IN January 2011, I received a call from my friend who was working here in Garissa.
He was a teacher. He told me there was a job opportunity.
I was teaching in a private school in Nairobi at that time. I considered the offer, packed and travelled to Garissa.
The town was very safe at that time. No one in my family questioned my decision since they all knew how stable this county was.
Eight months later is when attacks started. KDF went to Somalia in October of the same year.
The Garissa of today and that of 2011 when I came is very different. In a way, I feel targeted. Going away is not an option; that is my stand.
The government with people’s collaboration is the only way we can win this war.
Pressure is there especially from my family back in Kisumu. They want me back but I have decided to stay.
Mary Ndunda, 29, Nurse
I am a nurse at Iftin Medical Clinic.
I graduated from Mombasa Polytechnic in November of 2011.
The thought of coming to work in Garissa had never crossed my mind.
One of my classmates was working here. She called me and told me there was a clinic looking for nurses.
Since I did not have a job, I decided to come and work here. People here are peaceful but impatient. That is their main challenge.
When such attacks happen I feel bad and sometimes get traumatised because of the images and its magnitude. I hope that the authorities will stop these attacks.
The issue of leaving Garissa should be a No-No for the non-locals like us. Apart from Garissa, other places in the country have also been attacked.
Their mission is to make sure we turn against each other. Let us not fall to their plan.
Courtersy of Daily Nation