Floods crisis may delay opening of new school term

Report
from Kenya Daily Nation
Published on 05 May 2013 View Original

By MOSES ODHIAMBO AND DANIEL NYASSY newsdesk@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Sunday, May 5 2013 at 23:30

IN SUMMARY

  • Most institutions were used as rescue zones for families left homeless following heavy rains

Uncertainty looms over the opening of schools that have been used as evacuation camps for flood victims in Nyanza as the second term begins on Tuesday.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, 20 primary schools in Siaya, Gucha, Nyatike, Nyando and Nyakach are being used as camps holding about 850 families.

Western Kenya operations director Emmauel Owako told Nation the organisation was consulting with the relevant communities on how to handle the re-opening of schools.

“We have engaged community members on available options for the displaced families, since most of the schools are co-owned by the community. We are also considering moving people from schools to alternative rescue zones,” said Mr Owako He further stated that flooded schools may not open on Tuesday with tentative plans of merging classes in one institution.

“Schools that are heavily flooded shall have their operations merged temporarily; we shall provide rations in such central schools,” said Mr Owako.

He said that other institutions whose buildings were destroyed will use makeshift tents until they reconstruct the classes.

Kisumu County director of education Beatrice Adu said she had instructed district education officers to assess the situation in flood-prone areas.

“The DEOs are expected to file a report this evening on the possibility of opening schools in flood-prone areas; from then, appropriate action will be taken to ensure children don’t suffer as schools open for the second term,” said Ms Adu.

She said schools that may not open due the floods will have their term dates restructured to cater for the lost time. “So far no school has reported complete impossibility of opening but should such cases arise, the timetables shall be adjusted to cater for the lost hours” added Ms Adu.

Meanwhile, fear of a disease outbreak gripped Mombasa on Sunday following heavy rains that left most parts of the coastal city submerged in floodwaters.

The faulty sewage system caused flood waters and overflowing sewer to pour onto the streets sparking threats of a disease outbreak.

The Jomo Kenyatta Avenue from the Barclays Bank roundabout towards Saba Saba was heavily flooded.

Several estates in Kisauni, Nyali, Likoni, Mvita, Changamwe and Jomvu constituencies were flooded after heavy rains that started on Saturday evening to Sunday noon.

Kadzandani Ward representative Mohamed Ndanda said 114 houses had been marooned and residents stranded.

Mombasa deputy governor Hazel Katana said the county did not have funds to repair the drainage system.

“We have no money; the sewage department has no experts to unblock the system. The workers have no gloves, gumboots or other protective gear. The situation is grave,” she said.