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3,000 students in Baringo miss school reopening due to drought

3,000 students in Baringo miss school reopening due to drought.

More than ten schools serving 3,000 students in drought-stricken Baringo County have yet to reopen after parents fled with their children in search of food, water, and pasture for their livestock.

Aside from drought, the county and several others in the North Rift, including West Pokot and Turkana, are dealing with insecurity issues, with a teachers’ union threatening to withdraw its members from schools due to fears of attacks that have killed more than five people in the last week.

Thousands of Baringo residents have fled to Mukeluk, Akule, Lomut, and Masol in West Pokot, Samburu, and Uganda, where they can find food and water. Chesotim, Ng’aina, Toplen, Kapau, Kongor, Sukut, Embositit, Nasorot, and Katagh and Loyamoi ECDE centres are among those affected.

Simion Akoma, the headteacher at Chesotim Primary School, says he arrived on Monday to find the entire village deserted. By the time schools were closed last term, he had only five students out of 70.

He called the national and county governments to move quickly to provide water and food in affected areas so that students do not drop out.

On Tuesday, 85 students out of 315 attended Riong’o Primary School in Tiaty East.

According to Tirioko ward representative Sam Lourien, over 5,000 locals in the area have relocated to neighbouring West Pokot County in search of water and food for their children.

Tiaty West deputy county commissioner Jackton Orieny acknowledged the region’s dire situation but stated that some vulnerable families were receiving cash transfers from the government and other partners, including the Kenya Red Cross, to supplement their needs.

The fate of more than 5,000 learners and 500 teachers in Kerio Valley hangs in the balance, according to the branch secretary of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) in West Pokot, due to displacement caused by insecurity.

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Mr Martin Sembelo has asked teachers to stay away from schools until their safety is assured.

 “We cannot keep our teachers in risky places,” he said.

In retaliatory attacks over the last three months, more than 50 people have been killed and hundreds of families have been displaced.

The most recent incident occurred last week in Cheptulel village, where bandits killed four people, including a teacher and two students.

Due to recurring attacks, more than ten schools in Chesegon, Central Pokot sub-county, face closure.

Cheptulel Girls, Cheptulel Boys, and Arpollo, Chesegon, Tirap, Akiriamet, Amarel, Lochakula, Kamulogon, Kapushen, Kamelei, Sapulmoi Charatat, Tilakai, and Chemalei primary schools are all affected.

Mr Sembelo yesterday urged the government to seize illegal firearms and prosecute those responsible for the attacks.

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He requested that the government establish permanent security camps as well as anti-stock theft camps as he expressed concern about the recent spate of killings along the border between West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet.

Mr Sembelo said schools require increased security, particularly during the school year, because there has been an increase in attacks by armed bandits in the area urging the government to provide every school with at least two police officers.

3,000 students in Baringo miss school reopening due to drought.

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