Drought Keeps Thousands of Students out of School in Samburu

By Lydia Gichuki

Parents and secondary school students from Northern Samburu are unsure of resuming school as the region is being ravaged by drought that has left many in poverty.

 It is estimated that more than 13,000 students in over 60 schools in Marsabit and Samburu counties are struggling to stay in or out of school due to the ongoing drought.

Due to the drought that the region has been experiencing from September last year, many animals and plants worth many millions of money have since died. 80 percent of the community residents are pastoralists and relies on the animals to make a living.

With is, residents say they have no money to take children back to school for the first term that commenced this week.

Additionally they said there is no food to feed the children thus they cannot be taken to school on an empty stomach.

The situation of children staying out of school has worsened since the national government’s relief food distribution to schools in the region ceased in July 2021.

Speaking to Citizen Tv, Lesika Moi, a resident said children will continue to stay at home as parents cannot afford to raise fee and food for their school going children.

“We rely on cattle but now we have nothing, our children are also not going to schools,”

Partrick Leleshimy, said the current drought is the worst he has ever experienced in his life adding it has salvaged almost all the animals.

‘In all my life I have never seen such drought that has killed all the animals including the camels,’ he said

He added he fears after the animals, residents might also start dying if nothing is done to save the situation.

He said the situation would have been prevented if only the government had kept the promises it had made last year of buying livestock from the residents and bringing animal feeds. He noted with the animals dead, parents have no money to take their children back to school.

Northern Samburu MP said the government has also failed to release the cash transfer money that it had promised residents in place of relief food.

As a consequence, residents have been left with neither food nor cash.

The residents are urging the government provide relief food for residents and secondary schools and reduce the school fees to enable learners to go back to school.

Photo Credit; oxfam-internationaL

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