- The shortage has been attributed to the recent drought, failure by the government to import maize as promised and hoarding by some farmers.
- Some public schools warned that they could be forced to close early due to the shortage.
An acute shortage of maize and beans has hit several towns in Nakuru and Narok counties adversely affecting learning and other institutions.
The shortage has seen the prices double amid fears that some of the public schools could close early after running out of food.
The shortage has been attributed to the recent drought, failure by the government to import maize as promised and hoarding by some farmers.
Some public schools warned that they could be forced to close early due to the shortage and failure by the government to release free education funds.
According to Sister Florence Muia from Upendo Village in Naivasha, the shortage had adversely affected their operations in the facility that deals with HIV patients.
She said that a 90kg bag of beans was going for Sh15,000 from Sh6,000 a couple of weeks back, making it near impossible to feed their patients.
“Despite the prices going up, getting the beans and maize has been a major challenge leading to suffering at a time when many families are sleeping hungry,” she said.
The chairperson Mirera Secondary School parents association, Naomi Githua, said that the free food programme targeting students from informal settlements faced collapse.
“Currently, the price of a 90kg bag of maize is going for Sh6,500 from Sh3,000 and getting the produce is a major headache,” she said.
Githua noted that the free school feeding programme had kept many of the students from the informal settlement in class, adding that there was need to support it.
A trader, Samson Kimani, admitted that the shortage against the rising demand had pushed the prices up, warning that things would get worse in the coming days.
He said that they were buying the cereals from Uganda and Tanzania and the high price of fuel was affecting the current prices.
“For the last one month the region has faced an acute shortage of maize and beans and the most affected are schools with the prices rising by the day,” he said.
The secretary general National Parents Association Eskimos Kobia said that the crisis had been brought to their attention, adding that some schools had run out of stock.
He added that the situation had been worsened by failure by the government to release the capitation, thus limiting the purchasing powers of public schools.
“The most affected counties are Nakuru, Narok and Nyandarua and we are asking the national government to intervene before schools close early due to lack of food,” he said.