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CS Ezekiel Machogu defends school feeding programme in Asal areas

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has told the Senate Education Committee that the school feeding programme in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (Asal) areas has not been discontinued.

Mr Machogu who appeared before the committee in Parliament Buildings, Nairobi Tuesday, said the government has always budgeted for the programme and sensitisation of relevant stakeholders including ministry field staff, schools Board of Management and the community.

The CS told the committee led by Chairperson Joseph Nyutu (Muranga Senator) that stakeholders are tasked to ensure effective and efficient distribution of food items to targeted schools in respective areas.

“Introduction of fortified food supplements which is critical to address starvation in lower primary and severely malnourished children in targeted schools and introduction of homegrown food solutions for schools to enable them to produce their own foodstuff locally is on,” he said.

Machogu said the ministry intends to support adjacent communities to produce food to supply to the schools and develop a policy on school feeding programmes to ensure sustainability.

The CS told the committee that the government has prioritized areas which are most affected in Asal regions as well as urban slums for the school feeding programme due to budgetary limitations otherwise this could be done in all public primary schools across the country.

He said the government was putting in place measures to ensure that children get at least one meal a day to avoid disruption of studies in public schools due to hunger and drought in parts of the country.

“The government is out to ensure that children in public schools in areas facing drought are able to continue with their studies, we are committed in ensuring that pupils who come from this areas facing serious challenges are able to continue with their studies,” said Machogu.