A week after schools reopened, it has emerged that tens of students who cannot afford fees have dropped out and turned to Lake Naivasha as their source of income.
The students who are engaged in illegal fishing along the shores of the lake have turned into bread-winners for their families despite rising cases of hippo attacks and drowning in the water body.
The hardest hit are informal settlements around the lake with Karagita, Kamere, Kihoto and Tarambete being the most affected.
According to David Kilo from Lake Naivasha Boat Operators, the number of students involved in illegal fishing had continued to rise as they opted to stay away from classes.
Kilo noted that poverty and lack of school fees had pushed the minors into the waters adding that there was an urgent need to address th e matter.
“The minors are openly fishing along the shores of the lake and this exposes them to hippos which in the past have killed tens of people,” he said.
On her part, Jennifer Njeri from ‘Elimu Mashinani’ initiative noted the loss of jobs due to Covid-19 pandemic had pushed the minors into the lake.
She noted that the minors were now the source of livelihood for their families after their parents lost jobs adding that the lake had turned out to be their only option.
“The minors are scattered all around the shores of the lake and are using bait to get the fish further putting their lives in great danger,” she said.
Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mutua Kisulu noted that over 90 percent of school going children in the constituency had reported back to school.
“We shall investigate these cases around the lake and the reason as to why the minors have failed to report back to school,” he said.