School To Reopen On Monday As Planned, NEP RC Says

North Eastern regional commissioner John Otieno has directed that all schools in Garissa town will be opened on Monday as announced by President William Ruto despite five of the institutions being occupied by Internally Displaced People (IDPs).

Otieno said that following a meeting with relevant government departments and the Kenya Red Cross alternative camps were identified where the IDPs will be relocated.

The regional commissioner was addressing the press today after touring Hyuga girls primary school one of the institutions hosting IDPs to assess the flood situation. He was accompanied by his security team, the Kenya Red Cross and education officials.

More than 13,000 persons displaced by floods when river Tana burst its banks are currently camping at Muslim secondary school and NEP national polytechnic compounds.

At Hyuga girls, Kasuku and Jaribu primary schools the IDPs have occupied both the classrooms and the compound complicating the re-opening of the institutions.

A total of 21,000 people have b
een displaced by floods in Garissa County.

Otieno said the IDPs at Hyuga girls have agreed to vacate the institutions and those at Kasuku and Jaribu will be visited by government officials to ask the IDPs to be relocated.

‘We have over 400 households camping in four of learning institutions. We have come here to assess the situation and inform the IDPs of alternative sites they will be reallocated to. I am happy that they have heeded to our call to vacate the institution to allow for learning to resume on Monday,’ Otieno said.

‘Some classrooms are also flooded but we shall ensure come Monday we have alternative shelters for our learners to start schooling. The Kenya Red Cross will provide tents, non-food items and government and agencies will provide relief food,’ he added.

Fowzia Farah who spoke on behalf of fellow IDPs camping at Hyuga girls said they have no objection into relocating to alternative sites but urged the government to ensure them of their security, provision of necessary relief items and

‘We are here courtesy of the government. We have no problem moving out as long as we are provided with basic items. This is a natural disaster that we have control over,’ she added.

The re-opening of schools on Monday has however been viewed as premature especially for Garissa where five learning institutions are occupied by the IDPs.

Environmentalist Aden said it is not realistic to open the schools on Monday.

‘Many of learners are in IDPs camps with their parents. These children are traumatised and will not concentrate during class hours. We are urging the government to extend the re-opening of schools by another week until the floods subside and IDPs go back to their home,’ Aden said.

Source: Kenya News Agency