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County supplies porridge flour for ECDE learners

More than 70,000 early childhood education learners in West Pokot County have benefited from fortified porridge flour to reduce hunger and malnutrition, as well as the absence of learners in schools due to hunger.

West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin flagged off 140,000 kg of fortified porridge flour to benefit the learners across the 20 wards of the region.

At the same time, Governor Kachapin commissioned a water drilling machine that will assist in addressing the water shortage that residents face in some parts of the county.

Speaking at Makutano shopping centre in Kapenguria town during the launch of the programme, governor Kachapin said it will help increase early childhood development education (ECDE) enrollment, transition, and retention rates in addition to nutrition.

Kachapin emphasised that laying a strong foundation for kids in their early years of education was a crucial component of early childhood education and regretted that malnutrition rates are still high in some areas of the county.

He said children in remote areas of the region are particularly hard hit by the effects of the drought that has been experienced in some of those areas.

“Every child will be served with a cup of porridge every day to reduce hunger and malnutrition, as well as prevent learners from failing to attend school because of a lack of food,” Governor Kachapin said.

He said his administration had hired enough teachers, in addition to creating a model class, to allow students to attend school.

West Pokot County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Education, Mrs. Rebecca Kide, pointed out that the porridge is blended with ingredients that are rich in nutrients to improve the learners’ nutritional status.

She said the porridge contains sugar, corn, soy beans, and fortified vitamins and minerals that are good for children’s health.

Mrs. Kide pleaded with the parents to enrol their children in school in order to better their future.

She commended the governor for investing in infrastructure development, saying doing so had in turn supported the education sector.

Mnagei ward Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Richard Todosia, cautioned teachers against selling the porridge flour meant for children.

“Teachers who will be found to have used the flour for personal gain will be held accountable if children do not receive their daily serving of porridge in school,” he warned.

West Pokot Deputy Governor Robert Komolle reiterated that the county government had achieved a great deal of development since the current leadership assumed office, including the drilling of 17 boreholes.

He said the water drilling machine, which the governor commissioned, will be able to drill more water boreholes in areas affected by drought.

He urged the residents to support the government and avoid protests, saying they could hamper the government’s development agenda.

By Richard Muhambe and Anthony Melly

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