It is a sigh of relief for 108 public primary schools in Tana River County as the government dispatched food for the school feeding programme amid the ravaging drought.
Pupils especially in pastoral livelihood zones had started to migrate with their parents in search of water and pastures for their livestock.
Tana River County Director of Education Khalif Hassan said the Ministry of Education has delivered rice, beans, cooking oil, and salts to all public primary schools.
“All primary schools in Tana Delta, Galledyetu, Bangale, Tana River, and Bura Sub-Counties, have received their allocations,’’ said Khalif Hassan.
“The food that we got is for the school feeding programme for primary school pupils, at this warehouse; it is food for Tana River Sub-County primary schools,” he added.
Tana River Sub-County has received a total of 1909 bags of rice, 378 of beans, 134 cartons of cooking oil, and 54 cartons of salt.
The County Director of Education said the food will cater for the remaining weeks before schools are closed.
“The food will help the pupils to stay in school. It is difficult to teach a learner who is hungry. This food will help retain children at school and if there is extra, they can take it home,” said Hassan.
He added that schools still have water challenges but hoped that the short rains will continue for the situation to improve.
Meanwhile, Tana River is in the Alarm-Worsening drought phase according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Drought Early Warning Bulletin for October.
Households’ trekking distance to access water has increased to an average 16 kilometres compared to 12.6 kilometers in September.
“This is attributed to lack of rain and ongoing drought in the county as most water sources within pastoral livelihood zones have dried up due to dry conditions during the month,’’ reads the NDMA bulletin.
By Sadik Hassan