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Schools face closure due to food and water shortage

EDUCATION
By Peterson Githaiga | February 22nd 2017
Residents of Kasoito village search for water at River Athi that has dried up due to the drought that persisted many parts of the country. Kajiado residents are appealing to the Government to come to their aid following a severe drought that is ravaging most part of the county. [photo:PETERSON GITHAIGA/Standard]

Many students in rural areas have dropped out of school and migrated to far-flung areas with their families in search of water and pasture.

Most pastoralists are said to have moved to Tanzania, and schools may soon have to close if nothing is done to reverse the trend.

Peter Sekento, the Sairashe Primary School board of management chairman, said 112 students had dropped out.

"It is disturbing that most parents have moved from this area (Kajiado West) to other parts in search of pasture and water. As we speak, the school has a population of 147, down from 259," he said.

Daniel Teeka, the Olentooko Primary School head teacher, said the area had an acute shortage of water and food but schools were yet to receive any assistance.

"The budget given for school feeding programmes is not enough. Children are going without food; in fact, this is a total humanitarian case that needs urgent action," he said.

When Deputy President William Ruto toured the county last week, he said the Government had set aside about Sh200 million to help sink more than 50 boreholes to encourage modern farming methods.

And Johnson Osoi, the county assembly speaker, urged Governor David Nkedianye to set aside funds to reduce the effects of drought.

"The drought in our county needs faster response," he said. "The assembly is open to proposals and approvals of any plans, budgetary or otherwise, that will ensure we mitigate the effects of drought as soon as possible."

According to Nackson ole Umash, the Kajiado Fukuza Njaa Initiative chairman, the hardest-hit areas are Mosiro and Ewuaso Kedong in Kajiado West, Enkaroni in Kajiado Central, Olgulului and Lenkisin in Kajiado South, and Imaroro in Kajiado East.

"Many children are out of school due to the biting drought," he said.

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