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Tree destroys classroom block at Kakamega School

No one was hurt as students were not in class when the incident occurred.

Story Highlights
  • When reached for comment, school principal Gerald Orina, who has been in the eye of a storm since his posting to the school in January 2018, told the Star on the phone that it was an accident.
  • On Monday, Western assistant head of conservancy Western Martin Mamati said his office did not sanction the cutting of trees at Kakamega School.
  • Asked who would shoulder the cost of repairing the destroyed building, BoM chairman Prof Egara Kabaji said the board would meet to investigate and decide.

A classroom block at Kakamega School was on Saturday destroyed after a tree fell on it.

What started as a mission to clear up some trees by a saw miller to allow construction of five classrooms for the Competency Based Curriculum was halted after the huge tree fell on the classroom block destroying it completely.

No one was hurt as students were not in class when the incident occurred.

It has emerged that the school management had not obtained authorisation from the forest department to cut the trees.

When reached for comment, school principal Gerald Orina, who has been in the eye of a storm since his posting to the school in January 2018, told the Star on the phone that it was an accident.

He could not however, confirm or deny whether the school had been given authorisation to cut down trees by the School Board of Management and a committee of the environment at the county.

Regulations governing the cutting of trees in public institutions or places dictate that the management would constitute an environment committee that would derive a minute outlining the scope and expected date when the tree felling would be carried out.

The resolution would then be forwarded to the forest department for approval, which would only take place after a site visit.

On Monday, Western assistant head of conservancy Western Martin Mamati said his office did not sanction the cutting of trees at Kakamega School.

“We are sending a team to the school on Tuesday to investigate the matter. But when I talked to the Lurambi subcounty forest officer, she confirmed to me that no request was made to her office. She claimed the principal had called to inquire about the procedure of cutting trees in the school because they intended to clear a site for construction of some classrooms,” Mamati said.

On November 10 last year, the school BoM sat and slapped a Sh9,823 fine on every student for repair of a dormitory that was razed by fire whose source remains a mystery.

Asked who would shoulder the cost of repairing the destroyed building, BoM chairman Prof Egara Kabaji said the board would meet to investigate and decide.

He said a proposal was on the table to have some trees cut to give way for the CBC classroom but could not confirm a board minute seeking approval from the forestry department to cut trees existed.

“The principal is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school. Up to now, he has not briefed me about the destruction. What I know is that the executive board sat on December 28th last year and handed over the contract for construction of five CBC classrooms to the contractor,” Kabaji said.

Via
Hilton Otenyo
Source
The Star

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