Devolution and Asals Cabinet Secretary Hon. Eugene Wamalwa unveils a commemorative plaque at Moi Masol Primary School in West Pokot County. With him is State Department for Development of ASALs Principal Secretary Mr. Micah Powon.

Deep in West Pokot County, Masol location, Moi Masol Primary School has caused a stir in this semi-arid area best known for frequent droughts, pastoralism and cattle rustling. The school now rehabilitated and newly equipped stands out proudly with a red roof and bricks among the surrounding thorny trees and thickets in a naturally beautiful terrain. Its immediate neighbours are Weiwei, Sekerr and Lomut wards of West Pokot County and Lobokat Ward in Turkana County.

Drought Resilience Mitigation

Devolution and ASALs Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa officially commissioned the rehabilitated school in a colourful ceremony which was facilitated by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) under the financial support of the European Union. The ceremony was attended by  State Department for Development of ASALs Principal Secretary Mr Micah Powon, representatives of NDMA Board of Directors, County leaders,  West Pokot County Commissioner, County Ministry of Education officials and community leaders. 

During the commissioning of the school, Devolution and ASALs CS Eugene Wamalwa urged parents to take advantage of the facility and take their children to school saying education is an equalizer. 

 “It is a historic moment today to witness young men attending this event and vowing to support the government in its efforts of maintaining peace. The phase two of the project will also include renovation and upgrading of the boys’ dormitory to the standard of the girls’ dorm so as to create a stable learning environment for all pupils.”

During the same occasion, the Vice Chairperson of the Board, Emily Mworia presented 22,560 sanitary towels to support needy girls in both Moi Masol primary and Masol mixed secondary schools as part of the Authority’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  Presenting the sanitary towels on behalf of the NDMA Board of Directors, Mrs Mworia said the NDMA is keen that girls do not miss school during their special time of the month. The sanitary towels are projected to support the girls for at least one year.

Implementation

This school was rehabilitated and equipped by NDMA through the funding of the European Union of Kshs. 27.5 million, with the West Pokot County contributed Kshs. 13.23 million, Masol Community Kshs. 1.95 million, bringing the total amount to Kshs. 42.95 million. This rehabilitation also included; construction of boarding facilities, amenities and three pit-latrines, upgrading of the borehole system with an elevated water tank, installation of rain water catchment with three water storage tanks, putting up of the school’s five acres perimeter fence, piping of water from the borehole to the community at Akiriamet centre and grading of a twenty-five-kilometre access road.

Expected outcomes

The rehabilitation of the school is expected to assist in providing a more conducive and favourable learning environment with more students retained during drought periods hence creating long-term resilience interventions in the area. The school is also expected to help reduce the chances of girls undergoing FGM and early marriages, provide safe and easier access to clean water for both the students and the community and hence enhance peace and security between the Pokot and the Turkana communities.

Background

The rehabilitation of Moi Masol Primary School become initially significant in the County Integrated Development Plan and later in the Participatory Disaster Risk Assessment, (PDRA) carried out by NDMA in April 2018. Moi Masol Primary School was established in 1958 but was later abandoned due to insecurity issues and frequent droughts that force the communities to move from place to place in search of greener pastures.

For years, this area was riddled with cattle rustling, banditry and conflict over natural resources making the school untenable to the community. With the rehabilitation of the school, this will be a thing of the past as children from all the surrounding communities including those from Turkana country can now find a safe haven of peace in this institution.