UNMITIGATED DISASTER

Floods wreak havoc in Nyanza counties, driving thousands out of school

'Learning has been suspended until further notice'

In Summary

 

• Some 2,000 families have been displaced in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Kisii counties.

• The residents want the government to come up with a permanent solution instead of appealing for help every time the region experiences heavy downpours.

 

 

A house destroyed by floods in Nyando Ombaka area occasioned by heavy downpour.
Image: FAITH MATETE
A house destroyed by Floods in Nyando occasioned by heavy rains in Ombaka Kakola area
Image: FAITH MATETE
A house almost submerging , following heavy rains in Nyando sub county in Ombaka area
Image: FAITH MATETE
Pupils of St John Paul II Nyamasao primary school in Ombaka area nyando sub county going back home for lunch
Image: FAITH MATETE
Families in Nyando uses boat to move around follwoing floods
Image: FAITH MATETE

 

Thousands of pupils in Nyanza have been forced out of school as floods continue wreaking havoc in the region.

Some 2,000 families have been displaced in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Kisii.

 

On Tuesday, the residents said they were tired of living like refugees and asked the government to provide a permanent solution instead of appealing for help every time the region experiences heavy downpours.

Ombaka Secondary School and St John Paul II Nyamasao Primary School in Kisumu have been closed indefinitely after River Nyando burst its banks three days ago. 

More than 400 households in Kakola Ombaka have been forced out of their homes by the raging floods.

Other schools - Ogenya Primary, Kandaria secondary and primary schools in Kabonyo - are inaccessible after roads were cut off and compounds and classrooms became waterlogged.

At Nyamasao Primary School only class 8 pupils are in the school, according to deputy headteacher Simon Oyaro.

“Learning has been suspended until further notice,” Oyaro said.

Martha Apiyo told the Star that they have not known peace since November last year.

 

“In November we were displaced here in Ombaka.  Even before we had recovered,  we are now witnessing the same problem,”  Apiyo said.

 Judith Ochando said they have been forced to used boats to transport their properties to safer grounds. "Cooking has become difficult."

The displaced said the construction of dykes will provide a permanent solution to the perennial problem.

“Our children cannot go to school. The candidates will be adversely affected if the rains continue,” Ochando said.

Chief Jacob Ongudi said more than 250 houses have been submerged. The affected persons are camping at Ombaka Voice of Salvation and River of Life church.

Last December, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said plans were underway to construct a four-kilometre dyke along River Nyando to mitigate flooding.

The CS asked the county government to allocate more funds to disaster management programmes to assist the needy in flood-prone areas.

In Homa Bay, hundreds of learners and teachers in five Ndhiwa schools could not access the institutions last week after a connecting bridge was swept away by floods.

The bridge collapsed and was swept away after River Riana burst its banks following heavy rains on Monday night. The bridge connects several villages in Kabuoch South and Kabuoch North.

The primary schools are Okota, Luanda, Ndira and Mariri. Also affected was Luanda Mixed Secondary School.

Teachers lost two motorbikes while trying to cross the swollen river near Okota Primary School.

It’s unfortunate that the collapse of the bridge has disrupted learning in our schools. We hope the situation will come back to normal for learning to resume,” a teacher said.

The rains have ruined  Riat-Pala, Koguta-Luanda Kawuor and Luanda Kawuor-Magina roads.

We’re counting losses. The rains have also rendered our roads impassable,” a boda boda rider identified as Owili said.

In Migori, learning has also come to a standstill with schools like Angugo, Nyora Sera and Modi primary flooded. 

In Kisii, about 600 people are living in makeshift camps at Nyabworoba Primary and Secondary schools. Cracks have appeared on the foot of Manga escarpment and there is fear that homes will be affected.

The worst affected areas are Nyabworoba and Nyabotenene where more than 300 are camped on slopes.

"With the cracks opening up, more people may be ordered out," said area Ward Rep Paul Angwenyi.

Fifty-eight households have been living at Nyabworoba Primary and Secondary schools since the government told them to leave the endangered area three months ago.