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Students protest at water shortage

By Kenan Miruka

Kisii County

More than 350 students at Sengera Parish Girls High school in Gucha went on strike to protest lack of water at the institution.

The girls trekked over 30km from the school to Gucha District Education Officer’s office to present their complaints on Monday.

Chanting songs castigating the school management, the girls marched through the streets of Ogembo town attracting attention.

They arrived at the DC’s office at 7am where they demanded his audience but APs manning the gate thwarted their efforts.

Efforts by the father in charge at Sengera Parish Richard Nyangoto to plead with the girls to return to school proved futile. Ogembo DO Alfred Tanui and area DEO Risper Omalla arrived a few minutes later and met with the girls in her office.

"We are forced to walk over 10km to fetch water for ourselves and the kitchen yet we have paid Sh4,000 for the service. Yesterday, drunkards and village boys attacked us at the water source hence our action," said a student.

Grievances

Students who spoke to The Standard claimed the administration had failed to address their grievances and cited neighbouring Sengera Girls School that has no water supply problems.

"The principal always tells us many schools trek to fetch water so we are no exception. We have suffered enough and our security is not guaranteed," added another.

They also accused the administration of failing to provide uniforms to Form One students who were recently admitted yet they had paid for them.

"We are aware of the water scarcity as the school wholly relies on rain harvested water. The school is small and the enrolment is still low and since we are contributing to the borehole project, we are yet to raise adequate funds," said Fr Nyangoto.

School Principal Rosemary Onwonga admitted that the students had reported the attack at the water source on Sunday evening.

"They reported the attack and I was to look for the area chief to sort out the matter. Claims that we are levying Sh4,000 for water are false," said the principal.