About 300 learners are yet to report for term three in various secondary and primary schools in Kajiado Central Sub County.
According to Kajiado Central Sub County Director of Education, Job Kaikai, the ongoing drought that is ravaging livestock which is the major economic source of livelihood in Kajiado is the major cause of the absenteeism.
“Most parents depend on livestock sales to be able to pay school fees. Due to the current drought, the animals are really emaciated and fetch poor prices in the market making the parents lack school fees for their children,” said Kaikai
The most affected schools are Enkorika, with 60 boys, Nkoile with 23 boys and Nalepo Taigong’ with 36 girls yet to report to school.
Kaikai however remarked that in the case of the absent girls, drought may not be the only cause but early pregnancies may also be the reason.
Kaikai revealed secondary schools are reporting low fees payment thus affecting operations especially in the boarding sections.
The situation is the same in primary schools where 161 learners are yet to report back to school.
The head teachers are reporting chronic absenteeism for both boys and girls though boys are the most affected.
In trying to salvage the situation, the national government has distributed rice, beans and canned beef to 31 schools in Kajiado central.
Light of Hope, a Non-Governmental Organisation is also distributing meals to 12 schools so as to enable learners to learn on a full stomach.
A spot check by KNA in Kajiado Central revealed that in many homesteads, people are now surviving on one meal per day.
Sheep and cows are dying in droves and only children and women are left in the homesteads as men have relocated the remaining livestock to counties such as Narok, Nakuru, Taita Taveta and neighbouring Tanzania in search of water and pasture.
By Diana Meneto