Samburu: Drought continues to bite as families migrate searching for pasture

Samburu County is facing one of its longest drought seasons stretching for three years and affecting hundreds of families in the region.

The persistent drought situation in Samburu County has resulted in learners dropping out of schools, as parents migrate to distant places in search of pasture and water for their livestock, leaving school-going children in the care of elderly grandparents.

Girls are the most affected as they are added the extra responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings in the absence of parents, further keeping them away from school.

Remot Primary School in Samburu East Constituency is one of the most affected by the drought situation, with the school population dropping from 192 learners to 130 within the last few months.

According to the School Head Teacher Joseph Lolpranoi, the region has not received adequate rainfall for the last three years, with locals who are predominantly pastoralists incurring huge losses due to death of livestock.

In a bid to keep the learners in school, especially girls, a 17-Year-old High School student in US, Sabrina Guo through her Girl Pride Initiative has raised funds through the sale of t-shirts to purchase foodstuffs for distribution to the affected families in Remot and Sukuroi villages.

Speaking at the school when he presided over the food distribution exercise, Girl Pride Programme officer Kenya Boniface Nakori said that the ‘Fighting Hunger for Education’ programme courtesy of Girl Pride International will see at least 1,500 households in the two villages receive foodstuffs which include maize flour, maize, beans, cooking fat and salt to help children left behind by their parents to get food and consequently stay in school.

Nakori said that the learners will now eat in school during the day and also have food once they go back home in the evening courtesy of the initiative.

Both Nakori and Lolpranoi called upon the government and other well-wishers to also move in with speed and provide solutions to the problem, with more learners in the region at risk of dropping out of school due to hunger occasioned by the prolonged drought situation.

Residents of Remot and Sukuroi villages lauded the initiative to provide food to affected families in the region, noting that the food will keep them going for the next few months.

Samburu County is among seven other counties that are in the alarm drought phase namely; Isiolo, Mandera, Samburu, Turkana, Wajir, Laikipia, and Marsabit while 13 counties including Embu, Garissa, Kajiado, Kitui, Makueni, Meru, Narok, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Kwale and Kilifi are in alert drought phase.

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