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State sends food to cushion learners in drought-hit areas

 Education CS Ezekiel Machogu (centre) at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, November 2, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The government has rolled out an initiative to send food rations to schools to keep learners in class.

The programme is in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP).

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said learners are the most affected by hunger.

"As we continue to deal with the devastating drought and famine which has hampered food production significantly, we have sought inter-ministerial and inter-governmental interventions to ensure that food reaches those who cannot access it,’’ said Machogu.

He was speaking at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development during the launch of a handbook titled: History of Kenya’s school meals programme.

Machogu yesterday said more than 2.5 million learners from 10 counties in arid areas benefit from food ration annually.

Machogu noted that 5,667 metric tonnes of food was being sent to the most affected counties, including Isiolo, Garissa, Turkana, Marsabit, Tana River, Mandera, Wajir and Samburu.

"We are dispatching food consisting of 4,313 metric tonnes of rice, 1,150 metric tonnes of beans, 147 metric tonnes of oil and 57 metric tonnes to support children for a duration of one month," Machogu said.

"We shall continue to work tirelessly towards ensuring that we provide support to the school meals programme to improve learner admission and retention," said Machogu.

Machogu said the food being dispatched had been procured from local farmers and suppliers.

The CS yesterday launched a book on the school meals programme dubbed, ‘The history of the school meals programme.’

WFP's Deputy Executive Director for Programme and Policy Development Valerie Guarnieri said they would continue to support the programme.

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