By Benson Amadala

Mukumu Girls’ High School in Kakamega County reopened on Monday, coming about a month after a disease outbreak linked to food and water contamination killed three students and a teacher.

By 2pm, 400 Form Four learners had reported back to school.

On Monday morning, Form Four students could be seen streaming into the school compound with their parents in tow. As they returned, Western Region Director of Education Jared Obiero led a team of government officials in an inspection of the institution's facilities.

The focal point for the officials was water supply to the school, which was linked to the outbreak severe typhoid with learners taken ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.

More than 240 students were admitted to Kakamega County General Hospital and other private facilities, prompting education officials to close the school on April 3.

But on Monday, there was a glimmer of hope as parents who had accompanied their children were taken through the changes put in place to ensure safety of the learners.

“We are confident that the measures put in place will restore confidence in our parents to bring back all learners to school. The Form Four students have lost more than two weeks and need to recover lost time while preparing for KCSE at the end of the year,” Mr Obiero said.

Emergency personnel

A nurse has also been posted to the school to attend to medical emergencies before they are referred to nearby hospitals for treatment.

The reopening comes days after a parents’ meeting at the school on April 29 ended in disarray when police officers were called in to disperse their protest. Chaos erupted after parents discussing the school’s reopening demanded destruction of maize at the institution, which they suspected was contaminated.

On April 15, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu ordered destruction of the maize to prevent another tragedy.