Thousands of learners fail to report to school floods

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024 02:02 | By
Students at the Nakuru bus terminal on the way back to school for second term yesterday. PHOTO/Raphael Munge
Students at the Nakuru bus terminal on the way back to school for second term yesterday. PHOTO/Raphael Munge

As over 3.5 million learners were scheduled to resume studies yesterday, over 40 primary and 27 secondary schools across the country did not open as directed by the government due to flood related challenges.

Tens of thousands of learners were hit by devastations caused by floods and could not access their learning institutions due to damage to infrastructure.

Bearing the brunt was Nyeri county which had learners in 12 primary schools and 16 secondary schools fail to open, due to flooded toilets and classrooms.

In Kisumu county, five schools were submerged due to the backflow from Lake Victoria while two primary schools in Pokot were inaccessible as the bridge leading to the institutions had been washed away.

As other learners continued with their studies uninterrupted, one school in Nakuru county was hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) while a secondary school in Kirinyaga county, which had a sunken toilet, extended its opening date to later this week.

In some areas, roads and bridges were destroyed presenting transport challenges with a section of Kenyans making mixed reactions regarding whether it was prudent to open schools, after an earlier indefinite suspension.

Government’s spokesperson Dr Isaac Mwaura in a statement to newsrooms assured that the government is working around the clock to ensure the safety of learners who have already resumed studies.

Mwaura however urged parents to keep their children safe while to and from school particularly, between 6am and 6pm.

Meanwhile, the State Department for Public Works is carrying out an inspection of school buildings in affected counties, to assess the impact of the floods on their infrastructure as well as their readiness to receive students.

National and County Multi-Agency teams are working together to ensure that repairs in the affected schools are fast-tracked, to create a safe environment for students to resume learning,” Mwaura said in the statement.

This happened even as the flooding situation persisted in some parts of the country, and is expected to continue in the low lying, riparian and urban areas.

 Most hit areas, the government said, are Narok County, where a landslide was recorded as well as the Tana Delta area (affecting Tana River, Garissa and Lamu Counties), where there was flooding owing to heavy rains in the Central region catchment area.

“Sunny intervals have been forecasted over the week for most regions of the country, with occasional rainfall and thunderstorms in 37 Counties in the Lake Victoria Basin, Rift Valley, Central, Eastern, and Coast and Nairobi regions,” revealed Mwaura.

Displaced households

By yesterday, floods-related death toll had risen to 277 lives after another death was reported.

A total of 411, 825 people have so far been affected by the flooding with a total of 58,009 households having been displaced in Nairobi County adding to the number of 55,575 displaced households countrywide.

Mwaura assured that the government will continue to provide the required support to the affected communities and urged Kenyans as well as local and international partners, to continue supporting in providing search and rescue services as well as food and non-food item supplies to the affected households.

In Nakuru County, agricultural crops and related enterprises valued at approximately Sh59, 783, 181 have been affected while in Kilifi County ,the value of damages was estimated at approximately Sh47, 521, 750 with over 360 farm groups along the riverine affected.

Additionally, four acres of tea bushes in Nyeri County and 774 acres of maize and  beans and horticultural crops were affected in Muranga County.

The floods have also impacted a total of 62 health facilities in 11 Counties and damaged 419 Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in 20 Counties.

Furthermore, 53 cholera cases were also reported with the Ministry of Health together with the Kenya Red Cross, conducting medical outreach programmes for cholera control and other waterborne diseases in Tana River and Marsabit Counties.

“30 public health officials have also been deployed for a risk assessment of all 167 internally displaced camps and for the evaluation of nutrition, as well as the safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) points. A multi-agency team including the State Department for Public Works is undertaking demolitions of unsafe structures in Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Nairobi Counties,” said Mwaura.

Accordingly, all persons residing within the 30-Metre riparian corridor of rivers and other watercourses across the country were ordered to vacate for their safety.

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