Why Maai Mahiu children who survived flooding may not be going back to school

Annah Wamboi salvages her bedding after her house was swept away by raging floods in Mai Mahiu, Naivasha. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Children affected by the Maai Mahiu flash flood tragedy may not be able to report to school because they are traumatised.

Having lost all their learning materials and relatives, the minors are deeply traumatised by the incident that left over 60 dead and scores missing.

Two weeks after the incident, counsellors are working extra hours to manage the minors who, they say, are not ready for classes.

Elizabeth Wambui, one of the parents, says it would be a tall order to take their children to school in their current mental status.

Wambui, who managed to escape with her two children but lost everything to the floods, noted that everybody, including the minors and their parents, is deeply traumatised.

“Some people are yet to bury their kin while others are searching for their missing kin, and for now, we are not thinking about school,” she said.

She appealed to schools to be supportive of those minors who would be reporting back to class after the harrowing ordeal they went through.

Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara says it would take time before the minors fully recover as some had lost their parents and close family members.

She said that the government had provided funds to buy learning materials and uniforms for the students, with a majority of them camping at a children’s home in Mai Mahiu.

“Some of the students might be unable to attend classes as school resumes today because they are still traumatised but we are working with counsellors to assist them,” she said yesterday.

Kihara said the students lost all their learning materials and uniforms when floods swept away their homes after a seasonal dam broke in the Old Kijabe area.

“Luckily no school was affected by the floods but tens of students were affected and we are supporting them in every possible way,” she said.