Drought to Keep 3.5 Million Children out of School In January.
More than 3.5 million Kenyan children would be absent from school in January 2023 owing to the continued drought, according to the humanitarian organization Save the Children.
As the food situation intensifies, children are compelled to leave school to aid their parents in their search for water and pasture.
According to the Global Out Of School Children Initiative, more than two million children aged 4 to 17 have not attended school since the third term of 2021.
According to research by the National Disaster Management Authority, the number of students at risk of dropping out of school owing to the prolonged drought is predicted to climb by 1,6 million.
“Parents have to migrate with their children in search of food, pasture, and water for their livestock. This compromises their access to basic facilities such as food, clean water, healthcare, and education,” said Yvonne Arunga, County Director for Save the Children Kenya and Madagascar.
The northern counties of Kenya are severely hit by the drought, and the majority of the inhabitants there are pastoralists.
The impacted counties are Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Turkana, and Marsabit, with Mandera having the highest school dropout rate at 295,470 children aged 4 to 17 years.
Also affected are the counties of Narok, West Pokot, and Samburu.
A study conducted by Save The Children in June 2022 revealed a significant decline in student enrollment in drought-affected areas.
52% of schools in the 17 counties studied experienced a decline in enrolment across all grade levels. (Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary Education)
Inadequate or nonexistent school meals, a lack of water, a poor learning environment, a lack of teachers, resource-based disputes, and climate-related disasters are identified as leading causes of high school dropout.
In the afflicted counties, children have been required to postpone schooling to assist their families in focusing on fundamental survival skills.
“Every minute that goes by means more children’s lives are increasingly at risk. Time is quickly running out for children. They’re missing out on education, making them more disadvantaged.” said Arunga.
“We are calling on the government to make every effort to ensure maximized and efficient running of school feeding programs during drought situations, especially in the areas worst affected by drought. Most of these children depend on these meals.”
Drought to Keep 3.5 Million Children out of School In January