Gloomy term ahead for 5,000 learners as Lake Baringo swallows schools

Nosukuro Primary School

Nosukuro Primary School, one of the schools submerged by the rising water of Lake Baringo, on October 14, 2020. Learners in the school and many others do not have a place to learn as schools prepare to reopen on January 4, 2021.

Photo credit: Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Major roads in the area have also been submerged, preventing pupils from neighbouring villages from reaching their schools on foot.
  • The Nation learnt that what was a playfield 10 metres from the school compound is now infested with crocodiles and hippos.

As schools reopen for the first time after they were shut in March due to Covid-19, the fate of more than 5,000 learners in flood-prone of Baringo South is unknown as 15 schools swallowed by the rising Lake Baringo water are yet to be rebuilt by the government as promised.

Learning institutions bordering the lake, and which were submerged, needed to be relocated and rebuilt in safer areas.

Lake Baringo water level has risen significantly since March, submerging schools, health facilities, churches and homesteads, among others.

This led to the displacement of more than 10,000 locals.

The affected schools include Salabani Secondary, Ng’ambo Girls Secondary, Lake Baringo Mixed Secondary, Ng’ambo, Sintaan, Leswa, Lorok, Loruk, Loropil, Noosukro, Kiserian, Loruk, Ilng’arua, Ng’enyin, Sokotei and Salabani primary schools.

Lake Baringo Secondary School is now two kilometres inside the lake.

The school’s headteacher, Mr Samson Lekakimon, said that all structures, including classes, staffrooms and dormitories, are completely submerge, although they managed to salvage some desks and books and take them to Kampi Samaki Primary School.

Crocodiles and hippos

Loruk Boarding Primary School in Baringo North sub-county was partially submerged with the boy’s dormitories and latrines swallowed up.

Major roads in the area have also been submerged, preventing pupils from neighbouring villages from reaching their schools on foot.

The Nation learnt that what was a playfield 10 metres from the school compound is now infested with crocodiles and hippos, endangering learners’ lives.

“We’re trying our best to ensure all our learners report back to school in January, but everywhere including the major highway, Loruk-Chemolingot road, is submerged. As we speak, they will be forced to use a boat, which charges sh60 to and from the institution, which a majority of parents cannot afford,” Mr Luka Kandie, the headteacher, said.

A spot check by the Nation revealed that most schools are completely swallowed by the lake waters and could only be accessed by boats.

Salabani Secondary head teacher Joshua Chemjor said the lake was about five kilometres away from the school last year, but it has now swallowed up the entire institution.

“Six hectares of maize crop,” he said, “were also submerged. We managed to salvage some of the school and office furniture.”

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