RELEASE FUNDS

Fund school feeding scheme to fight poverty

In Summary

• Pupils in 10 counties have abandoned school because the feeding program has virtually collapsed.

• For eight months the government has not sent Sh800 million to buy food. This must change. 

A boy from a village in Lokichogio, Turkana County, wash a sufuria.
A boy from a village in Lokichogio, Turkana County, wash a sufuria.
Image: FILE

Introducing a school feeding programme in arid and semi-arid areas was an immense relief to the most vulnerable students and parents.

Feeding some of the poorest schoolchildren in remote, poverty-stricken areas won the support of the World Food Programme.

But as usual with many programmes ordered by mandarines, this one is virtually dead and children are suffering.

Pupils in 10 county programmes — West Pokot, Baringo, Machakos, Kilifi, Makunei, Kwale, Turkana, Narok, Isiolo and Marsabit  — have abandoned class. They no longer have strength or motivation to trek miles for an education.

For eight months, the state's Sh800 million cash for the programme has not been sent to schools. Then the WFP pulled out because Kenya is not categorised as a poor country, we are a middle-income nation.

The little food in the stores was exhausted in March.

Education experts worldwide have proved well-fed students concentrate on their studies and have a higher chance of excellence than hungry children.

The Education ministry must make every effort to give these 1.5 million poor children a chance to improve their lives.

It's the government's moral duty to give both rich and poor a fair chance because there is no tool more powerful than education in fighting poverty.

Quote of the Day: “We must cultivate our garden.”

Voltaire

The French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher died on May 30, 1778.