Impact of Floods on Schools and Calls for Action

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

As Kenya grapples with the devastating aftermath of widespread flooding, concerns over the safety of students and educators have surged, prompting urgent calls for government intervention. The convergence of heavy rains, flooding, and delayed funding has compounded challenges within the education sector, leaving thousands of children and teachers in precarious situations.

Reports indicate that approximately 150 schools across the country have been affected by the floods, with scenes of destruction including collapsed classrooms, submerged buildings, and destroyed rooftops. The extent of the damage is alarming, posing significant risks to the continuity of education and the well-being of those affected.

Moreover, the plight extends beyond structural damage. Displaced families seeking refuge in schools further compound the issue, exacerbating overcrowding and straining already limited resources. In areas like Budalangi Constituency, several primary and secondary schools have been affected, displacing over 1,700 individuals who were seeking shelter in these educational institutions.

In response to the crisis, the Kenya National Parents Association (KNAP) has urged the government to review school opening dates in flood-affected regions. Eskimos Kobia, the Secretary General of KNAP, emphasized the need for a thorough assessment of affected schools and prioritization of student and teacher safety. He highlighted instances where flood victims have sought refuge in neighboring schools, further straining resources and posing risks to both displaced families and students.

Meanwhile, David Bore, the Executive Secretary of the Kipkelion branch of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), emphasized the urgency of releasing capitation funds to schools on time to avert a crisis. He highlighted the financial strain faced by schools, exacerbated by delayed disbursements and mounting debts to suppliers. Bore stressed the importance of reviewing capitation upwards to account for inflation rates and ensure the sustainability of educational institutions.

As families living in flood-prone areas near Lake Naivasha and River Malewa are urged to relocate to higher ground due to rising water levels, the gravity of the situation becomes increasingly evident. The convergence of heavy rains, flooding, and delayed funding poses a formidable challenge to the education sector, requiring swift and decisive action from government authorities.

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