No celebrations to mark Garissa university terror attack, Warfa
There will be no celebrations to mark this year’s Garissa University terror attack that took place on April 2, 2015 and left 148 people, majority of them students dead.
Last year, the celebrations were low keyed, with a marathon race held. But this year no event will take place.
In an interview, the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University that has since been made a fully-fledged institution of higher learning, Prof. Osman Warfa said that having such celebrations bring back bad memories of the fateful day that he noted they wish not to remember.
“The incident left a permanent scar that will take long to heal. If to date its affecting me this much, what about the parents and relatives who lost their loved ones,” Warfa said.
“Since the incident, we have tried to redeem ourselves and we have risen from the ashes to what we are today. We have shown the militants that we are resilient,” he added.
A visibly emotional Warfa said that they have put the unfortunate incident behind them and they were determined to make the institution great again.
A walk at the facility paints a different picture that was once a scary place after one of the worst terror attack in the country by the Al-Shabaab militants.
Prof. Warfa noted that a raft of security measures have been put in place to secure the institution.
“It’s the blood of our departed heroes that is nourishing the state of affairs at our university,” the vice chancellor said.
Prof Warfa thanked the national government, the local leadership and the security agents who stood by the institution during the difficult and trying moments.
According to the institution’s Assistant Registrar in charge of academics, Stephen Ndinya, the current student population (both regular and self sponsored) stands at 1,195 (862 male and 333 female) compared to 750 before the attack.
“I want to thank Kenyans for their resilience. Despite the setback, we were able to pick up our pieces and are back on our feet, raring to go,” he said.
He said the institution now offers courses in certificate, diploma, degrees, masters and Phd.
Students who spoke did not wish to dwell much on the terror attack, but expressed their satisfaction with the steps that have been taken to secure the institution.
A Bachelor of education student, Peter Wambua, said they are like one family and the attack has served to make them strong.
By Jacob Songok