Lamu kids miss school due to floods

A Flooded village in Chaluma Lamu.More than 3000 residents of Kipini in Tana river have been forced to spend the Ramadhan hungry after their village was marooned by floods PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA

Lamu, KENYA: School children from terror-prone Basuba ward in Lamu East are unable to return to their learning centre at Arid Zone primary school in Mokowe and Kiunga after the April holidays due to floods that continue that continue to mar their villages.

The children all of whom are from the Boni minority community had to be transferred to the safer learning zones following increased insecurity caused by al Shabaab militants which resulted to the closure of all primary schools in Basuba since 2014.

The over 500 pupils now have to wait for interventions of until the floods come to end before they can finally safely venture back to their learning centers.

The learning centers in Mokowe and Kiunga had to be established four years ago to enable students from terror-prone areas to carry on with learning.

The only disadvantage is that the schools especially the Mokowe Arid zone one is located hundreds of kilometers away, but even then, the students and parents armed with a thirst for education, have vowed to make it happen.

Basuba ward rep Deko Barissa says despite the commencement of the second term of learning, pupils from Basuba, Milimani, Mangai, Mararani and Kiangwe villages who are supposed to report to the learning centers are unable to do so due to the floods and heavy rains that continue to pound the area.

“We are appealing to the government to intervene just like they are doing elsewhere and help us move these children to the learning centers otherwise they will miss school.Let them bring choppers for that purpose,” said Barissa.

Similarly, the ongoing floods in Lamu have affected the learning of over 2000 pupils and students all across the county.

Over 300 students of Jericho Primary school in Mpeketoni have been forced to stay home after five classrooms collapsed this week due to the ongoing heavy rains and floods.

Speaking in Lamu on Tuesday, Lamu West sub-county Education officer Josphat Ngumi said three toilet blocks at the Witu Town Mixed Secondary School caved in due to the floods.

The toilet blocks belonged to the boys who now have to share toilets with teachers.

The school has 370 students.

The situation is the same at the Chalaluma primary school where over 300 pupils are unable to attend school after the entire school compound was submerged by floods partly contributed by the bursting of the Tana and Nyongoro River banks.

The over 310 pupils of Dide Waride Primary school have to wade through the dangerous floods before they can access their school.

Over 280 pupils of Nagele primary school cant go to school after their school compound was turned into a temporary rescue centre for flood victims in the region.

Ngumi has appealed to the government and well-wishers to intervene and renovate the various schools that have been affected by floods and also ensure pupils whose villages and schools are flooded are enabled to attend school.

He said Witu ward was most affected by floods in the entire county and said the situation was to blame for the extremely poor turnout of pupils are students for the second term opening.

“There is a need for timely intervention so that those schools have collapsed can be rebuilt and those surrounded by floods can be accessed by pupils.They need to find ways to siphon that water from schools otherwise learning will be a challenge here,” said Ngumi.