This is one of the last small towns on the Rumururi- Maralal road. Suguta is small and dusty (there is no tarmac) with the road running through its center. The surrounding land is mostly marshy, but beautiful with lush long green grass and huge acacia trees.
Since it’s a small town, the only financial facilities are Mpesa and Airtel money although network coverage is scanty in most parts of the town. While there carry insect repallant and drink filtered, boiled or mineral water.
There is only one place to stay there, I forget the name, but any person in Suguta can direct you there. It has hot showers, clean linen and a little surprise- the one day I slept there, I woke up to find a cat sleeping at my feet. He was very content there all curled up and I was more surprised than livid considering I might have gotten fleas or some random disease from it. Turns out he was the ‘hotel’ pet and there was a space under my door that he was able to creep through to come in for his curl up. It gets chilly in the evening at Suguta so I couldn’t blame the poor guy.
Being a small town, not much goes on there except for the random bandit attacks and so everything closes up by 5pm. Food is cheap and there are several small food places. Since there isn’t a proper road there, bandits take advantage to attack residents and also ambush pastoralists in the area to steal their livestock and the police are unable to come to the people’s aid in time. This coupled up with the understaffed police force there has contributed highly to insecurity in the area. The bandits have now gone one step higher by using motorbikes/ ‘bodabodas’ in their attacks which help them escape the police and residents easily since the marshy ground is surrounded by thicket and harsh terrain. The local church is a place of refuge for residents during attacks. Residents told me that their safe haven during the attacks is the local Catholic Church situated in town.
I was in Suguta several days before the police ambush that made headlines and I had actually thought that I might be able to go visit again, but after the ambush, I am not so sure anymore. One of the reasons for this was that one of the police officers who was part of our armed escort while there got killed in the ambush. He was a young man with a family and could have been any other Kenyan and he lost his life senselessly. My heart goes out to all the families affected by the insecurity in the area and I hope that things get better for them soon.