Date: 18 January 2017 02:51
School going children are among thousands of residents of Samburu County affected by a drought ravaging the region.
Independent investigations by the Nation have revealed that many pupils may drop out of schools if the government does not intervene and supply them with relief food and water.
Already, the fate of more than 500 primary school pupils in the county hangs in the balance after the managements of their schools vowed to close them due to the drought.
The drought has hampered learning at Ndonyo Wasin Primary School in Sereolipi, Samburu East, which is one of the areas worst hit by drought in the country.
The school’s administration disclosed to the Nation that they are contemplating sending children home this week as the conditions have worsened.
“The school management committee has agreed to follow the bitter path due to lack of water that has affected the normal learning activities in the institution,” said an official of the school’s management who sought anonymity.
SEARCH FOR WATER
Most of the learners in the area have stopped attending classes as they opt to stay at home and help their families in search for water.
A spot check by the Nation revealed that most children were missing classes as they help fetch water from the only community well in the area that is almost drying up.
Thousands of residents depend on the well for water.
A week ago, a primary school boy slipped and fell into the well as he tried to fetch water.
He was rescued by good Samaritans who were present.
According to Fr Jonathan Namoni, a priest at Ndonyo Wasin Cathoilc Church which sponsors the school, the problem is alarming and urgent measures are needed to save the lives of the children.
HELP FROM COUNTY GOVT
“The county government was initially helping the learning institutions with water. We plead for their assistance,” said Fr Namoni.
In several other schools in the area, the number of pupils has dropped significantly, the Nation learnt.
Fr Namoni revealed that more than 65 children have been transferred to schools run by non-profit organisations where they can get water.
Parents are now targeting schools that are along the urban areas of Sereolipi along the Isiolo-Marsabt-Moyale highway, Merile, and Girigiri.
A resident and rights activist Jespa Lerno said the situation has forced parents to try to balance between livelihoods and education, forcing many pupils to drop out of school.
“There is need for urgent food and water aid to the vulnerable groups in this community. Children below the age of five, the aged, disabled and pregnant women are all in urgent need of the essential human needs,” said Lerno.