As herders from Garissa County move far and wide in search of water and pasture for their animals following the prolonged drought ravaging most parts of the region, other key economic sectors are now feeling the heat.
Mobile schools introduced in 2007 by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with UNICEF meant to enroll school going children among the pastoralists on the move in search of pasture and water for their animals are now threatened as the herders have moved to neighbouring counties of Isiolo and Moyale.
To ease transportation of children from their homes to school, a donkey cart was bought for each school and a bicycle for each of the teachers and a feeding programme, which has since been suspended, was introduced.
The children in mobile schools are those in standard four and below. After this, they are placed in boarding schools.
According to Lagdera Deputy Education Officer, Ibrahim Odowa, the mobile schools gave the pastoralists the opportunity to enroll their children in school but the current drought and other insecurity issues is eroding the gains made in this sector.
The initiative started with three mobile schools with an enrollment at Geylab (32 girls and 43 boys), Garse (28 girls and 52 boys) and Kona Yarrow (38 girls and 46 boys). The learning materials were provided by UNICEF.
Many parents are still in support of the mobile schools saying most of their children have gone through the system and are already employed.
“The number of children has significantly dropped since the feeding programme was suspended. This could also be the cause of the low enrollment being currently witnessed,” said Odowa.