Public schools around informal settlements in Naivasha are facing an acute shortage of face masks and handwashing soap even as Covid-19 continues to surge in Nakuru County.
Most affected are those from Kihoto Estate which has been flooded by Lake Naivasha waters displacing over 4,000 families.
Local leaders have since taken responsibility to assist eight of the public schools in Lakeview ward with masks and hand washing soap.
According to Dennis Chege, one of the leaders in the region, the current situation has been worsened by high poverty levels in the informal settlement. Chege says the coronavirus pandemic has left tens of parents’ jobless making it near impossible to buy food and face masks for leaners.
“We are concerned by the high number of students in both primary and secondary schools in Naivasha who do not have face mask despite the increasing Covid-19 cases,” he said.
He was speaking after donating over 4,000 face masks to learners at Milimani Primary school, one of the largest institutions in the town with a population of over 4,000 pupils.
“We have launched a campaign to supply face masks to all public schools in Lakeview ward as one way of assisting their parents who lost their jobs due to the pandemic,” he said.
Daniel Marala, a teacher from the region, says that many learners from the informal settlement had challenges in accessing face masks.
While lauding the donation, he admitted that the lot supplied by the government had been exhausted forcing them to rely on donors.
“Currently we have close to 1,000 learners in Grade four and class eight and many of them have challenges in accessing face masks,” he said.
Esther Njeri, a pupil at the school, says many of her kind had to recycle their face masks due to challenges in their homes even as she thanked those who had donated the life-saving masks.