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Learning disrupted in Laikipia as animals enter classrooms

SPECIAL REPORTS
By Mercy Adhiambo | March 5th 2017
Schools have also been affected by acute water shortage

 

Every morning, for the last five years, Silawa Kirobi of Laikipia North accompanies his four grandchildren to school.

Kirobi, 73, says even though he is ailing, he has to ensure his grandchildren are safe from the wild animals that roam the village. In the evening, he begins yet another weary trudge to Ol Kinyei Primary School to pick the children.

He says he has lost count of the number of mornings he has woken up and found elephants blocking his door.

“Since the year started, there isn’t a day when elephants don’t walk into the homestead,” says Kirobi.

He describes his life and that of other people in Ol Kinyei as a constant battle that involves dodging wild animals, ducking into bushes when they see them approaching, and sometimes running as fast as they can with an animal hot in pursuit.

On days when Kiroba is not able to accompany his grandchildren, they miss school because it is too risky for them to go alone.

Ol Kinyei Primary School headteacher Francis Legei says the beginning of dry season last year brought with it an increase of wild animals in the village, especially elephants that even enter classrooms in search of water and food.

“We have been forced to teach our pupils how to be safe from animals because if they harm the wildlife, they will be in big trouble,” he says.

Samburu County Director of Education Zachary Mutwiri says KWS should find a way of restraining animals and preventing them from entering school compounds.

He was especially concerned about schools in marginalised areas where students struggle to match up with their counterparts in urban areas.

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