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Learning paralysed as floods maroon schools

Judy Akuma, Sophie Njoka and George Odiwuor @PeopleDailyKe

Even as schools reopened for the second term on Monday, a number of students are yet to resume classes after floods marooned their institutions of learning.

The Coast region has been worst hit with an estimated 97 of the 200 schools affected countrywide. Other area suffering the deluge menace include Baringo and Homa Bay counties, Nyando and Budalang’i in Kisumu and Busia counties respectively.

The Kenya Red Cross Society and the government said the schools have failed either to re-open or resume learning as a result of the heavy rains.

A spot check by People Daily yesterday indicated that some schools failed to reopen as most were submerged while others have turned into refugee centres for displaced families. Coast region police commander Noah Mwaivanda said Tana River county is the worst affected with 70 schools still shut, while Kilifi has 17 and Lamu 10.

He asked those living in flood-prone areas to move out immediately to avoid loss of life, with reports indicating that crocodiles have been sighted in flooded areas of Tana River and Kilifi after rivers Tana and Sabaki burst their banks. “We call upon residents to work closely with a multi-agency rescue teams on the ground and heed to warnings issued to prevent deaths,” he said.

The police boss further called on motorists plying flood-prone areas to exercise caution. In Tana River, Sh23 million is urgently required to carry out repair works in schools to restore learning. However, 30 schools in the three sub-counties of Tana Delta, Galole and Tana North are still submerged.

Tana River Education Director Gitonga Mbaka said the state of the facilities will be assessed once the floods subside. In Homa Bay, schools have incurred a loss of at least Sh17.8 million in the ongoing rains, the Ministry of Education said.

ounty Adult Education director Justus Ichwara said the rains have affected at least 39 schools in the last one month. He said most of the affected learning institutions lost their latrines as others had their dormitories and classes damaged.

In Rachuonyo North sub-county, learning has been temporarily paralysed in at least two schools after villagers turned them into temporary shelters. Ichwara said residents around Osodo and Kobuya primary schools have camped at the institutions.

“More than 2,238 villagers have moved into the two institutions affecting learning,” he said. He appealed to the Ministry of Education to release emergency funds to speed up repair works in the affected schools. In Tharaka Nithi county commissioner Muzne Abdullatif said at least 25 households have been affected by the floods.

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