Lewa Conservancy now launches Sh10m school feeding programme

Pupils at Munanda primary school in Buuri, Meru, having a cup of porridge in the morning. [File, Standard]

The Lewa Conservancy has launched a Sh10 million feeding programme for schools in Meru, Isiolo and neighbouring counties.

The project has seen over 20 primary schools receive assorted foods, including rice, beans, maize and cooking oil.

Purity Kinoti, the education programme manager at the conservancy, said they were keen to support education through the feeding programme.

“For more than 20 years we have been working with schools and children around the conservancy to support quality education and change the quality of life for children and communities around the conservancy,” Ms Kinoti said.

Kinoti said drought poses serious challenges to provision of quality education hence their intervention.

“We realised that if we do not intervene then we are losing children in these schools and there is no quality education because it is not possible for the children to learn on empty stomachs,” she added.

She said more than 8,000 children were getting free meals in more than 20 schools.

“This is important for us because we know this child who has the assurance of a meal will show up at school and will be able to concentrate,” said Kinoti as she watched children at Shambani Primary School get their lunches.

Head teachers had raised the alarm after school attendance got poor. Prolonged drought in some areas of Meru, Isiolo and other neighbouring counties had seen pupils miss lessons, leading to a drop in performance.

Mohamed Aden, the head teacher of Munanda Primary in Buuri Constituency, said school attendance had improved after they received food.

“This area has been hit badly by drought causing water and food scarcity. But we have got help from Lewa Conservancy. Before we had a population of 340 but the population has now increased,” said Aden.

“Some of the pupils are not enrolled but they came because of the food we provide,” he said.

Aden said the food aid had come at a good time as some learners were preparing for examinations.