KENYA: Poor student was victim of Al Shabaab attack in Mandera

Published: December 30, 2015

Abdi-Rashid Adan at Mandera County Hospital on December 22 before he was moved to Nairobi for specialised treatment. [Photo: Mercy Adhiambo/Standard]
Abdi-Rashid Adan at Mandera County Hospital on December 22 before he was moved to Nairobi for specialised treatment.[Photo: Mercy Adhiambo/Standard]

(Strandard) – Four years ago, Abdi-Rashid Adan sat his Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) exams and passed. The results marked the beginning of an uncertain chapter for the young boy who had been born and raised in Mandera County.
He was among the few students who defied the odds in a county that has been defined by wars, famine and poverty. He was admitted at Al Sadik Secondary School in Mandera but there was only one challenge – his parents could not afford to pay his school fees.
Driven by his love for books, Adan decided to sell snacks to commuters in different buses plying the Mandera route during school holidays to raise fees for his education. That is how he ended up getting shot four times in the ill-fated bus that was attacked by Al Shabaab last Monday.
When members of the outlawed militia sprung from the bushes and fired indiscriminately at the Makkah bus near Dabasiti in Mandera, Adan was standing next to the driver. “I was holding my merchandise and I was near the driver. Then I heard gun shots and suddenly something hit me from behind.
Then there were more shots and blood from my body,” said Adan when The Standard visited him at Mandera hospital, a few minutes before he was airlifted to Kenyatta National Hospital for further treatment. His mother Aslye Adawa, who looked on as his son writhed in pain, said he is a hard working boy who has always shown initiative when it comes to raising money for his school fees.
“We have no money, so when schools close, he always goes out to sell sodas and other snacks that travellers need,” said his mother.
The bullets hit his buttocks and he had to be taken for specialised surgery at KNH where he is now in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Before Adan was taken to KNH, he had been at the Mandera hospital where his friends and classmates surrounded him and watched in worry as he was wheeled into the waiting Red Cross ambulance that was waiting outside to take him to hospital.
Even as he attempted to smile and wave, one could easily tell that he was in great pain. His father Adam Duve held onto the Intravenous pipe that pushed water into his arm. “When Al Shabaab do such things, they do not know that they hurt innocent people like my son who was in the bus trying to help himself,” said Duve.
Adan is among Muslims who have received praise from many Kenyans for saving the lives of many non-Muslims when Al Shabaab demanded that they get off the bus and separate along religious lines.
Leaders from Mandera County condemned the series of attacks that have been experienced in the region over the last few weeks. Led by Governor Ali Roba, the leaders condemned such attacks saying they disrupt the economy of the entire region. “Attacking teachers means no Mandera child gets educated, killing quarry workers means no construction development takes place. We do not know how this county is going to develop,” said Roba in Nairobi at a press conference.

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