Effects of drought related factors on pupils’ participation in primary schools in Tharaka south sub county, Tharaka Nithi county, Kenya
of all water on the planet is freshwater available for our agricultural, industrial, and other consumptive uses. Human beings are currently facing issues with climate change including increasing temperature, drought, earlier spring melts, severe weather events, and diminishing fresh water resources. Water scarcity and unpredictable rainfall are not new phenomenon in Tharaka South Sub County. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of drought related factors on pupils’ participation in primary schools in the semi-arid areas of Tharaka South Sub County in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were: Determine the effect of proximity of water sources, establish the effect of purchasing water on participation, school sanitary conditions and water storage facilities on pupils participation in primary schools. This study was conducted using the descriptive survey research method. The target population for this research was 2224 comprising of 41 head teachers, 343 teachers and 1840 pupils comprising class seven and eight pupils. The researcher employed simple random sampling to select 11 schools out of 41 public primary schools from where the respondents of the study were drawn from. The study utilized three sets of data collection instruments which are questionnaires for pupils and teachers, interview schedule for headteachers and observation schedule. Reliability was tested through test-retest method, and a correlation coefficient of 0.95 was obtained for teachers questionnaires and 0.89 for pupils questionnaires. The results of data analysis were presented using frequency distribution tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study established that the proximity to water sources had an effect on the pupil’s participation in education, in primary schools, in that some of parent’s income was directed to purchasing water and this affected pupil’s participation in education, as water is a basic need and was prioritized first, before education. The scarcity of water negatively affected sanitary conditions and that most of the schools lacked water for cleaning hands. This affected participation of pupils, and especially girls. The study recommends that; the Tharaka Nithi County Government and donors should make effort to provide tapped water to the schools. In the cases where tapped water is difficult to provide, the government should embark on drilling boreholes and wells around the school areas. The Kenyan National Government and the Non Governmental Organization’s should provide tapped water to the households. In the cases where taped water will be difficult to install, the government should consider solar water pumps and boreholes to pump water for the locals, and this will reduce the money spent in buying water, among the households. The donors and the governments through the Constituency Development Funds should procure and distribute water storage tanks to the schools in the region. The government should also consider constructing dams in the local rivers, rock catchments and large water pans in the communities, to enhance rain water storage, for the community at large.