Ruto commits Sh1 billion to rebuild flood-affected schools

President William Ruto. [Standard, File]

President William Ruto has announced a Sh1 billion allocation for the reconstruction of schools damaged by nationwide floods.

Speaking on Monday, April 6, during a visit to Mathare in Nairobi, Ruto said the government will ensure all schools are renovated to facilitate the smooth resumption of education once schools reopen.

“Our students who are still in school, their schools have been destroyed. I want to assure you that the government has set aside Sh1 billion so that we may reconstruct the schools and ensure that every child in Nairobi, and other parts of the country, goes back to school when we give a directive to reopen,” he said.

The statement comes as he [Ruto] last week ordered an indefinite extension of the reopening of schools, originally scheduled for April 6.

At the same time, Ruto affirmed that the government will cater to and support people who have lost their homes and properties due to the floods and help them stand back on their feet.

“We are announcing here that the 40,000 families that have been relocated, each household we are going to provide for them Sh10,000 for alternative settlement until the government comes up with a comprehensive plan on how their lives are going to continue into the future,” he added.

Ruto’s statement comes even as the latest numbers from the Interior Ministry show at least 228 people have so far lost their lives in the devastating floods that have swept across the country.

The Ministry of Interior, in a statement on Sunday, May 5, indicated the raging floods have also left 164 injured and 72 missing, with nearly 213,000 people affected.

The ministry said some 1,967 schools have been affected and 42,526 households displaced. Approximately 227,238 people have been impacted by the heavy rains.

In response, the government has set up 138 camps across 18 counties, currently hosting 62,061 people.

The weather forecast predicts moderate to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in 37 counties, including regions in the Coast, Western, Lake Victoria Basin, Central, Eastern, Rift Valley, and Nairobi.

 Flooding is expected in low-lying areas, riparian areas, and urban areas, while landslides and mudslides may occur in areas with steep slopes, escarpments, and ravines.

Despite most parts of the North West, North Eastern, and South Eastern regions being forecasted to be generally dry, the continuous heavy rains in the Central region and the overflow of the Seven Forks Dams pose a risk of exacerbating flooding in the Tana Delta, impacting Garissa, Tana River, and Lamu counties.

A 24-hour evacuation notice was issued on May 2, 2024, to settlements in 33 counties that are within 178 of these high-risk dams and water reservoirs.

 The government is facilitating logistical support, temporary shelter, and essential supplies to those affected.

 Ruto has further assured that the government, in partnership with other humanitarian organisations, will continue providing the necessary food and non-food aid to those affected by the floods across the country until the situation goes back to normal.