Several Schools Remain Closed as Floods Wreck Infrastructure

Several schools across the country remained closed on Tuesday as the second term officially got underway. 

The impact of the floods continued to be felt in Baringo and Nyeri counties, with some schools remaining closed due to broken down infrastructure and poor sanitation conditions.

In Baringo County, three schools have been declared unfit and condemned after their infrastructure was destroyed by the floods. Sintan, Leswa, and Longeiwan primary schools have also been deemed dangerous for use. 

At Leswa Primary School, for instance, the classrooms have not just suffered damage; the school’s accessibility has been severely affected by the flooding of River Perkera which has cut through the premises. The only available means of transportation to the school is now a broken-down boat.

At Loitip Primary School, learning activities were disrupted after approximately 1,000 families of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) camping on the premises declined to relocate, causing a halt in operations. 

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They had been instructed to vacate the school grounds before the commencement of the second term, but they argued that they lack alternative shelter, further claiming that the government has not offered any alternative solutions. 

George Okeyo, Education Officer, Baringo South, said the displaced persons are from Longewan, Leswa, and Lepunyaki; areas that have been most affected by the floods.

Relocation Plans

Baringo County Commissioner Stephen Kutwa explained that the affected pupils will be relocated, with Loitip Primary expected to host a larger number of learners due to its capacity. 

Addressing the press, he emphasized the importance of pupil safety, stating that it was crucial to wait for the water in the affected schools to subside before returning the learners to their respective institutions.

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Kutwa mentioned that plans for relocation have been put forth for the affected learners. These learners will be moved to neighboring schools and will return to their respective institutions once the flood waters subside.

According to him, most schools in Baringo North opened yesterday, although turnout was low due to insecurity challenges, particularly in parts of Saimo Soi and Bartabwa Wards. 

Several Schools Remain Closed as Floods  Wreck Infrastructure
Several Schools Remain Closed as Floods Wreck Infrastructure

He urged learners and parents who fled their homes due to insecurity to return, assuring them that security measures have been enhanced and that public servants should not use the security challenge as an excuse.

While lamenting last month’s boat tragedy that claimed the lives of seven school children in Baringo South, he noted that safety measures have been enhanced to protect learners in schools bordering Lake Baringo who use boats as transport. 

Kutwa maintained that only registered boats would be allowed to operate in the lake and warned of legal action against operators found violating the stipulated rules and guidelines.

He added that safety measures mandating passengers to use safety jackets and ensuring boats carry only the required capacity have been enforced. Additionally, 200 coxswains have been trained to enhance their navigation skills.

Nyeri County

In Nyeri, students at Endarasha Boys School began their second term cautiously, facing delays due to the aftermath of flooding. They were among several schools nationwide that couldn’t resume classes on Monday due to the flood’s impact on their facilities. 

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The students reported for learning only to find the institution’s pit latrines nearly collapsing owing to the heavy rains. Charles Mugo, a school official, said the boys have started going in, and 50 percent have already arrived. 

The challenge they had was about the toilets but they have handled it, and the boys are going to be comfortable. Beyond handling the toilets challenge, the school administration says it is now exploring permanent solutions to the problem. 

Mugo added they don’t want this to happen again in future so they are looking at ways to construct modern ablution blocks. At yet another school in the county, the classes remain empty. 

The students of Nyaribo Secondary School were also absent from school. Although their flooded classrooms have since dried up, the structural damage caused by the floods has left the classrooms compromised, evident in visible cracks even to the naked eye. 

Dam Overflow

Beyond the classrooms, the flood damage has extended to the entire school compound. The water-logged fields can no longer be used by the students, and neither can the toilets which remain filled with water. 

While the flooding occasioned by the rains is the immediate cause of the school’s troubles now, the community contends that their water issues run as deep as the nearby two-acre dam that neighbors the school. 

The rains have just made a bad situation even worse. Peter Mwangi, a board member at the school, said the nearby dam has overflowed and is the main reason behind the floods at the school. 

The school has likewise faced challenges in obtaining pumps to drain the toilets for usability; they are now compelled to wait for the fields to dry out before use.

Kiambu County

Kongo Primary School in Kiambu Sub-county, Nigeria, has been severely impacted by flooding, causing the entire entrance to be flooded. The school, surrounded by two private coffee farms, has over 300 pupils and faces additional risks from two man-made dams that have broken their banks.

The school’s watchman created a shortcut through the surrounding thickets, but it was deemed unsafe due to potential snake infestations and other dangerous animals. Parents have urged the Ministry of Education to find alternatives to ensure students continue learning.

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The school is located within coffee plantations with no nearby habitation, posing a danger for unattended children.

The school administration and parents are raising funds to rebuild collapsed toilets at a cost of KSh170,000 to keep learners in school.

Several Schools Remain Closed as Floods Wreck Infrastructure

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