A section of Meru County is experiencing an increase in the number of school dropouts, following drought that has continued to ravage areas of Tigania, Igembe and Buuri.
Addressing the press, Meru County Director of Education, Elizabeth Otieno, noted that while there are no official statistics to confirm cases of school dropouts, absenteeism has been reported in most schools especially from areas with nomadic communities.
“There are sections of Meru that have been affected by drought and this has affected education in that it has increased absenteeism,” said Otieno.
The education official further noted that discussions are underway with teachers and partners in the strategic committee to assess ways to avert the situation and ensure consistency of the learners in schools.
“We have sought government interventions that will ensure provision of water in schools and initiate feeding programs that will reduce absenteeism,” said Otieno.
Tigania West MP, Dr. Kanyuthia Mutunga, has already admitted that in various schools in the arid areas in Tigania West, children have been missing school at a high rate due to hunger.
“Where there is a school feeding problem, children are showing up in full. However, schools without food are recording absenteeism especially since kids can’t concentrate on a hungry stomach,” he noted.
The MP said various sub counties in Meru have been left out in the Sh2 billion relief money allocated to fight the drought, noting that only Isiolo has been included.
In an effort to mitigate challenges brought by the drought, Mweronkanga Assistant-Chief, Samuel Igweta, urged residents to avoid selling their harvests but to save on the remaining food like maize since the hunger may prolong.
“The drought may prolong and it is unwise to sell dry foods at such times. I encourage people to only sell when necessary and save the rest,” he noted.
By Brenda Gakii and Dickson Mwiti