More than 700 children from two schools in Bududa district are stuck at home, three months after the roof tops of their schools were blown off by a storm.
The affected pupils are from Bukari and Nawuma Primary schools in Bukibokolo Sub County. The roof tops of the two schools were destroyed in March this year during a storm that also devastated several gardens.
The schools, which are found in the disaster prone area of the Mt. Elgon zone, have since been abandoned by pupils, teachers and the parents alike. The school compound is overgrown with grass, and used by some residents to graze their animals. John Baptist Nambeshe, the Bududa LC V chairperson blames the office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief for failing to renovate the schools.
Nambeshe said as required, his office through the District Disaster Preparedness Committee submitted a detailed report to both ministries but to do date he has not received a response.
Nambeshe says under normal circumstances, government should have made arrangements for the affected pupils to attend remedial lessons but nothing was done. He says the failure by the pupils to attend lessons may affect their performance in national examinations.
Simon Peter Wambi, a primary seven candidate at Bukari primary school says they were hopeful that the school would be renovated soon to allow them resume their studies but their hopes are fading gradually. Wambi blames parents and the district local government for failing to team up to repair the roof top of their school to allow them resume studies. He says both the parents and district should have mobilized resources to repair the damaged roof.
Emmanuel Nangoli, a parent at the school however, says the magnitude of the destruction cannot be addressed by parents, whom he says are living in abject poverty. He instead blames government, which he says is mandated to provide education for all children in the country.
Vincent Waboyo, the Principal Disaster officer in the office of the Prime Minister declined to comment on the matter and referred to the Ministry of Education and Sports. Attempts by our reporter to get a comment from the permanent secretary ministry of education were futile.
Five more schools were destroyed on Saturday last week by landslides in Bushiyi and Bumayoka sub counties. This brings to 10, the number of schools destroyed by disasters in Bududa district since 2012.
They include Nametsi, Kihsasa, Tunas Primary school, Maraka primary school in Bumwalukani Sub County, Nawoti, Kiwolo, Kibakala and Busamali primary schools in Bumayoka Sub County. John Baptist Nambeshe, the Bududa LC V chairperson says some of the schools are found high risk areas.
Nambeshe describes the situation as a precarious one that requires serious attention from government and other stakeholders.