Last year, learners in Baringo South had to stop their learning following the rise of water levels in Lake Baringo. Due to this, learners had to relocate to safer grounds and conduct their classes in temporary tents, but now the tents no longer serve their intended purpose due to heavy rains and strong winds in the area.
The tents, which were donations from the Kenya Red Cross and other well-wishers, are getting torn and falling apart. Lake Baringo increased rapidly since March last year, submerging schools, hospitals, homesteads, and churches. The submersion left over 10,000 residents homeless and stranded.
The affected schools include Salabani, Ng’ambo Girls’and Lake Baringo mixed secondary schools as well as Ng’ambo, Sintaan, Leswa, Lorok,Loruk , Loropil, Noosukro, Kiserian, Loruk, Ilng’arua, Ng’enyin, Sokotei and Salabani primary schools. The institutions are yet to receive funding for re-construction.
According to the teachers, the tents get torn apart easily while most of them got completely destroyed as early as last term. For instance, at Noosukro Primary School, all donated tents have been destroyed, forcing the learners to conduct their classes under trees despite the cold, harsh weather.
The school Head teacher, Jeremiah Nakure, said they are planning on relocating back to their former institution once the waters have receded, “This area is characterized by strong winds even during dry seasons thus destroying the eight tents we received as a donation last year. The pillars had also broken and sometimes it would fall while going on with learning, risking the lives of pupils,” said Mr Nakure.
He also added, “We are contemplating to relocate in the meantime to our initial school, after water at the lake receded as we look for a solution because the rains are here and the pupils cannot learn under trees anymore.”
The situation is not so different for Ng’ambo Primary School where the institution had to be relocated to a new site after being submerged, “Some of the tents were small and could accommodate only 10 pupils. We resorted to teaching some under trees to avoid congestion. The long rains have started, posing a challenge because we cannot teach in the open, thus forcing us to combine more than three classes in one bigger tent,” said Mr Parkolwa, the Head teacher.
According to Baringo South Sub-County education director George Okeyo said the government had allocated Sh10 million to Salabani secondary and Sh4 million to Ng’ambo primary school to rebuild new structures but were yet to be released.
“We are still awaiting funding from the government to commence the construction of new structures in the two institutions. Some schools have sought help from well-wishers and have built temporary structures,” said Mr Okeyo. Lake Baringo is said to have increased from 236kms square in 2015 to approximately 270kms square now.