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Baringo principals oppose plan to scrap school feeding programme

Child Welfare Society of Kenya has expanded its emergency food programme to cover more counties

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A section of School principals from Mogotio sub-county in Baringo has urged the government to reconsider the decision to scrap the School Meals Programme from the budget estimates for this Financial Year.

Speaking in Mogotio constituency after receiving relief food from the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK) in partnership with the Office of Mogotio area MP, the school heads said the move is a big blow to many learners who have been depending on the programme, especially from ASAL areas such as Baringo and North Eastern region.

Enock Yator Deputy-Principal Majimoto Secondary attributed increased school enrolment and attendance in the area to the programme.

“We are calling upon the government to reconsider removing the school feeding progamme since most students will drop out of school. As I am talking there are some students who cannot even afford a single meal a day and the only food they depend on is the school feeding programme,” added Caroline Keter-Principal Molo Sirwe Secondary.

“The School feeding programme is what keeps students in class removing it will be a total mess,” said David Bett, Principal, of Mugurin Secondary School.

At the same time, leaders from the region have welcomed the intervention by the Society under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, saying it has enabled the region to deal with rampant cases of early pregnancy and forced marriages as many students opt to go to school to at least get a meal a day.

Food insecurity has been blamed for the high number of school dropouts and absenteeism across various counties where a majority of the learners are from low-income households.

Child Welfare has been bridging the gap through the school feeding programmes which is part of its emergency response programmes and community interventions targeting vulnerable communities where access to food remains a challenge for many households.

More than 5000 students from mixed-day schools in the region have benefited from the programme.

Child Welfare Society of Kenya has expanded its emergency food programme to cover more counties.

In Tharaka Nithi County, 1,458 learners with special needs drawn from eight schools have also benefitted from the school feeding program.

Tharaka Nithi County Woman Representative Susan Ngugi thanked the ministry for the timely support saying it will ensure the retention of learners in school.

She further urged the government to enhance funding for special schools to adequately cater for their needs.

Similar calls were made in Murang’a and Kiambu where 12,694 day-scholars from 60 schools in Kiharu constituency and 6,038 others in 13 schools within Kiambaa will enjoy free lunches respectively this second term.

Videos by Jackson Mnyamwezi

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