Nearly half a million learners have not reported back to school weeks after learning institutions were reopened for Term Two.

According to Save the Children charity organization,  approximately 497,783 learners have remained at home or in temporary shelters unable to resume their studies.

Assessments done jointly by the Ministry of Education (MoE), Save the Children and UNICEF reveal that over 3,781 classrooms and 18,615 toilets have been damaged due to flooding.Waterborne diseases have also been on the rise affecting children, with reports by the Ministry of Health indicating that 49% of the cases are children aged between one and ten years.

This is as a result of faecal matter finding its way into classrooms, playgrounds and homes. The heavy downpours are reported to have greatly affected the children’s mental health as some have had trouble sleeping well.

“Children are scared and they start crying whenever it starts raining. The teachers tell me that even in school, they get scared when it starts raining and they won’t calm down until the rains stop,” said Jackson a parent in Nairobi`s informal settlement.

Some of the flood-affected families who are still living in temporary shelters awaiting relocation are facing protection concerns such as Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), loss of walking aids and wheelchairs for children with disability, lack of clean water for cooking and drinking, and psychosocial stress and trauma.

The charity organization is calling upon the government to support relevant line ministries to conduct rapid assessments to inform recovery efforts, repair dilapidated classrooms, dormitories and toilets, provide alternative learning spaces and promote health and hygiene sessions within schools and communities.

“We call on the government to allow for the unconditional enrollment of displaced children to nearby accessible schools. Further, we are urging urgent public health measures to reduce risks of waterborne diseases in schools whose sanitation facilities are damaged. All children have a right to a quality, safe, and inclusive education,” said Mohamed Abdiladif, Interim Country Director, Save the Children Kenya & Madagascar.


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