BRIDGES SWEPT AWAY

Busia school closed after heavy rains wreck structures

Construction materials cannot be ferried as roads have become impassable

In Summary

• Head teacher says population has reduced from more than 600 pupils to slightly below 200 after heavy rain washed away two bridges

• Parent says their appeal to have the bridges rehabilitated have been futile

Residents of Amoni village watch after floods submerged Amoni bridge that links the Busia and Malaba towns last year.
HEAVY RAINS: Residents of Amoni village watch after floods submerged Amoni bridge that links the Busia and Malaba towns last year.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

Learning has been interrupted at Opedur Primary school at the border of Teso South and Nambale constituencies in Busia county following heavy rains that have hit the region for the past week. 

Head teacher Gerald Wechuli said the school has been left with inadequate facilities after some classrooms and latrines were destroyed. 

He said the school population has reduced from more than 600 pupils to slightly below 200 after heavy rain washed away two bridges connecting learners to the school.

The rain has also left roads impassable cutting off communication.

“We have only six classrooms that were constructed by the Nambale CDF. However, three classes have been already developed cracks due to weak soil in the area. Half our latrines have also been submerged,” he said.

Wechuli said Standards 1,2,3 and 4 pupils are already learning under a tree occasioned by the lack of facilities.

“We are having a hard time accessing the school. Teachers are forced to come in gumboots to wade off the mud. This is even discouraging pupils from aspiring to be teachers in future.”

Parents led by Josephine Achieng’ backed the head teacher and urged the county and national governments to intervene.

“Most of the pupils are not reporting to school due to impassable roads. We urge the government to prioritise roads and bridges in the area to improve communication. As we speak, materials for the repair of classrooms and other facilities cannot be ferried to the school over poor roads,” she said. 

Their appeal to have the bridges rehabilitated have been futile, she added.

“We urge our MP John Bunyasi to expedite this matter to ensure learning returns to normalcy. Pupils at Nambere Primary in Matayos constituency are also facing similar challenges after nearby rivers swept away makeshift bridges due to heavy rains. 

Edited by R.Wamochie