Pupils return home after finding flooded classes on opening day

PHOTO | FILE Some candidates who sat for the 2013 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Salabani Primary School in Marigat, Baringo County when their school was submerged by floods. Six schools in Marigat District, Baringo County have failed to reopen for the first term after classrooms were flooded by water from Lake Baringo.

What you need to know:

  • Salabani Primary School, where more than 350 pupils learn, was the worst affected.
  • The school’s administration block and the library were also affected.

Six schools in Marigat District, Baringo County have failed to reopen for the first term after classrooms were flooded by water from Lake Baringo.

Due to heavy rains that fell late last year, the lake burst its banks and poured into Salabani, Kokwo, Ng’ambo, Sintaan, Loropil, Leswo and Ilng’arua schools.

Salabani Primary School, where more than 350 pupils learn, was the worst affected.

The institution failed to re-open yesterday after learners reported to school only to find all their classrooms completely submerged.

During last year’s KCPE examinations, 37 candidates at the school had to take their tests at the nearby Salabani Secondary School.

The primary school’s head teacher Moses Longochila yesterday said they had no option but to send back learners who had reported for the new term as there was no place for them to study.

“Before we closed for the December holidays, we had set up makeshift tents provided by the Red Cross in conjunction with the Ministry of Education on a ground nearby, but we were surprised to find that the lake has also covered the area,” Mr Longochila told the Nation on phone.

After consulting with the school’s management committee and the county Education office, they were considering relocating the school to a higher location at the nearby KVDA grounds.

The school initially had a population of more than 500 pupils but some moved to the neighbouring Lomoyana and Eldepe Osinya primary schools, according to the teacher.

“Floods have adversely affected activities at the school. Some of our teachers used to live in the teachers quarters which have also been submerged forcing them to live outside the school which has affected our timetable,” said Mr Longochila.

The school’s administration block and the library were also affected.

A cold breeze from the exposed learners to health risks, he added.

“We wonder how such disadvantaged children are expected to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the country.

“Such harsh conditions have made our pupils not to concentrate in class,” said Mr Longochila.

Contacted for comment, Baringo County Director of Education Hellen Nyang’au said all schools which had been affected by floods last year would continue using makeshift tents until the flooding subsided.

“We are also working closely with the disaster management team, which is currently doing a risk assessment in the flood prone areas, which will advice us accordingly if the affected schools will have to be relocated to higher grounds,” Ms Nyang’au told the Nation on phone.

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