A Standard Three pupil at Mukoyani Primary School in Kakamega South sub-county has died after he fell into a 100 feet well in the school compound, triggering angry protests by parents.
The unrest led to the closure of the school for a week on Thursday after villagers broke into the office of the head teacher and destroyed property.
The boy was identified as Ricardo Luseno. He sustained serious head injuries after the fall and his body was taken to the Kakamega County Hospital mortuary.
His body was pulled out of the pit by police officers with the help of volunteers from the village.
Parents accused the school management of being negligent after hiring labourers to sink the well four years ago and later abandoning it after failing to find water.
“Angry parents and villagers have looted the school store and broken into head teacher’s office and several classrooms and carried away documents and other valuables,” said Kakamega South police boss Bernstein Shari.
He said villagers had looted food from the school store and stationery from the offices. Several classrooms had their windowpanes smashed.
Mr Benson Machafu, the father of the boy aged 10 years old, said his son is suspected to have fallen in the pit unnoticed on Wednesday.
“I started searching for my son when he failed to come home for lunch as usual. When we looked into the well we saw his body and raised the alarm,” said Mr Machafu at the scene.
Villagers said the unused well was left open, exposing the children to danger.
Kakamega County Director of Education Mr Fred Kiiru visited the school accompanied by education officials from the sub-county to assess the situation.
“Pupils have been asked to report back home since tension is still high in the school. We have already started investigations and all those involved in vandalising and looting school property will be arrested and be prosecuted,” said Mr Shari.
He said police officers had been deployed to the school to protect property.