School in Tana River seeks financial aid after floods paralyze operations

Headteacher Ms. Halima Mohamed and some learners categorizing some books after being sun-dried.

Although flash floods struck several areas in Tana River County over two months ago, the huge scale of destruction it left behind is widespread and evident to date.

Bearing the brunt of the deluge’s onslaught where a majority of residents were left homeless, is Hatata Primary School where the deluge marched into each building in the riverine school as evidenced by the copious amount of sludge still present.

Headteacher, Ms. Halima Mohamed, told Education News that when she first saw the disastrous scene she was lost for words.

Speaking at the school where staff and pupils are trying to salvage surviving items, Halima noted that the most affected were computers and books – both exercise and text – in the bookstore and library which were submerged in the muddy deluge for most of the December holiday.

“The books and papers were some of the most fragile items, thus salvaging them is near impossible. The flood water rose over two meters and flowed into the classes,” she said.

Halima regretted that the few rescued books were still wet, swollen, or had mold growing between the pages, distorting the information therein and rendering them unreadable.

“Regardless of the condition we picked the books, aired them to dry, sorted and categorized into various grades for the 845 pupils in Hatata,” she said.


The school head lamented that the disaster has added to the understaffing problem at the school and now the teachers will have to teach without sufficient books.

Adding insult to injury, the raging water flooded the toilets and a huge tree fell on the kitchen, halting the school feeding initiative for poverty-stricken learners, most of whom were left homeless by the floods.

“Most of the students relied on school feeding, with some taking some food home but with the destroyed kitchen, that is currently possible,” she said.

Halima decried silence from the region’s public health office whom she said has ignored her persistent calls to pay a visit and assess the situation.

While appealing to well-wishers to raise funds towards the Hatata Book and Computer Fund, Halima urged education authorities to fish for a lasting solution for the school, which sits on a riverine area making it prone to the perennial floods.

“Sadly, most kids walk barefooted or in open shoes, no wonder some kids developed swollen feet,” complained Reuben Alembi, a parent in Mororo.

“The stagnant water not only provides a fertile breeding ground for a cocktail of diseases but denies students and locals a venue for sports activities,” he added.

By Amoto Ndiewo

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