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Sh3m sanitation, learning aid for school displaced by floods

By Kevine Omollo | January 22nd 2021 at 17:16:03 GMT +0300

Pupils at Ogenya Primary school in Nyando Kisumu County receive books worth Sh1 million from Longhorn Publishers in partnership with Standard Group on January 22, 2021. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Ogenya Primary School which had been submerged in floods in Nyando has benefitted from Sh3 million worth of learning aid and sanitation equipment.

Longhorn Publishers on Friday delivered Sh1 million worth of books which has come as a relief for the students who lost books in the floods.

Davis and Shirtliff also delivered a water tank, and began the geological study ahead of sinking a borehole at the institution's new site.

The move was part of the Standard Group's Education initiative to mobilize resources to help the institution get back to its feet following massive damages it faced after the flooding.

Clinton Onyango, a grade three at Ogenya primary school in Nyando posses for a picture at a neighbor's home where his parents are temporarily putting up on January 06,2021 after their home was swept away by floods. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Friday, learners and teachers had a reason to smile following the intervention they described as a timely relief.

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Early January, the Standard Group through its various platforms highlighted the sorry state of public schools as learning institutions reopened following a nine-month break over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ogenya was one of the schools which was featured, with the picture of a grade three pupils under a roofless classroom and wearing torn sandals moving the audience.

The Standard Group then begun an initiative to mobilize resources to support the school, with Longhorn Publishers and Davis and Shirtliff among the entities that came out to help.

Ogenya Primary School in Nyando, Kisumu County gets books worth Sh1 million from Longhorn Publishers in partnership with Standard Group on January 22, 2021. The school was largely affected by the recent floods. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

David Ayieko, National Sales Manager for Longhorn Publishers who delivered the consignment said the entity was moved by the kind of reporting, a situation which saw them organize a crash program.

"Our mission is 'enrich lives through education', and this initiative is in line with that. The stories and pictures published by the Standard unearthed the pupils were eager to get education despite the challenges they were facing. And we are glad to intervene and provide the support to the learners," said Ayieko.

He said the more than 500 copies of books delivered included course books and activity books covering Grade One to Standard Eight.

"We are not stopping at this. We will also provide revision aids and even bring examination experts to give talks to the candidates ahead of the national examination," he added.

He appreciated the work done by Standard Group, which he said was a clear manifestation of the role of the media in the society.

Pupils at Ogenya Primary School in Nyando, Kisumu County wash their hands at a water tank donated by Davis and Shirtliff. The firm will drill a borehole, lay down piping and install a solar system for pumping the water at a cost approximately Sh2 million. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

On his part, Kennedy Ojunge, the Regional Manager for Davis and Shirtliff said his entity got to know about the state of Ogenya School through Standard Group platforms.

He said drilling a borehole, laying down piping and solar system for pumping the water will cost approximately Sh2 million.

"We want to ensure the project is complete within the next six months, because these children have no water which is a key aspect of sanitation," said Ojunge.

As a short term measure, the company delivered 300-litre capacity tank where the school can harvest water and store for use as they await the main project.

"We have been implementing a number of Community Social Responsibility projects across the region, and we are glad to put a smile on the faces of the people who need it most," he added.

"We are driven by 'philosophy of purpose before profit, and this is a challenge that we increase our allocation for CSR," he said.

Ogenya Primary School head teacher Stanley Adoli admitted that the help was timely, as the school had lost over 80 per cent of books following the flooding.

He noted that after the coverage by the Standard Media, the school has received support from various stakeholders and is fast coming back to its feet.

Pupils learning at Ogenya primary in Nyando, Kisumu County go about their lessons on January 6, 2021. All classes are partitioned with black boards due to infrastructural challenges. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

According to Adoli, the Ministry of Education has allocated them Sh4 million for construction of classrooms. The institution has also received Sh600, 000 from Nyando Constituency Development Fund to erect a fence.

"We are glad that the Ministry also delivered 70 desks, as many had been damaged in the floods, and area Senator Fred Outa also gave us 150 iron sheets to help us complete these temporary structures as we await the permanent ones," he said.

He however reached out to well-wishers to help the school develop a lunch program, as many pupils come from poor families which had their situations worsened by displacement by floods, and could not sustain daily meals for their children.

Standard Group Nyanza Regional Bureau Chief Lucas Barasa who represented the company noted that the media giant will continue to use its various platforms to highlight such stories and reach out to partners to provide interventions.

In addition, he said the company will use its education segments, such as Tutor-Soma Tu and Newspaper in Education to promote education in the country.

"The Standard Media Group is the voice of the voiceless and uses its media platforms to highlight challenges Kenyans go through, as was the case with this school,” Barasa said.

He said Standard Group believes the media is a powerful tool that should highlight the challenges schools face.

Barasa who was accompanied by Standard Group brand executive Mercy Wanjiku said the company was happy that its stories on plight of Ogenya Primary pupils had attracted support from well-wishers and called on other partners “to join us in changing lives in the little ways they can.”

Barasa said the Standard Group was committed and involved in various CSR activities in social and environmental sectors as a way of giving back to the community.

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