Scores of pupils at Kalimamundu Primary School in Kyuso Sub-County in Kitui fainted while in class due to hunger pangs leading to a public outcry to donate foodstuff to the school by well-wishers.
Kyuso Sub-County Education Director Stephen Mulandi made a distress call to the Principal and Management of Kyuso Boys Secondary School to supply the affected school with food rations to remedy the dire situation.
“It has been brought to the attention of this office that pupils from the affected school are experiencing severe lack of food occasioned by insufficient and unreliable rainfall leading to prevailing hunger and dry conditions,” read part of the letter from Mulandi to the Principal of Kyuso Secondary dated August 24, 2021.
The Sub-county Director of Education underscored that following the below-average long rain season between March and May 2021, food security in Kitui County is deteriorating quickly affecting households without breadwinners.
Concerned about the plight of the affected pupils, area residents led by Kathi Muthui cobbled up an impromptu welfare kitty that managed to raise seven bags of foodstuff to the school among them four bags of maize from Kyuso Secondary School.
“Majority of the affected children come from single parent households. The mothers left the kids to elderly parents as they went out of the village to seek employment,” said Kathi.
Delivering the foodstuffs on Wednesday, he said that the children from these vulnerable households had battled starvation for long as they hungered for education to free themselves from the shackles of poverty.
“We appeal for more food aid from well-wishers to support this school and the affected households to cushion them from starvation as we wait for humanitarian assistance from the government and its partners,” noted Kathi.
He lamented that the recent desert locust invasion, cyclic drought, Covid-19 and climate change have exacerbated the food insecurity situation in Kitui County and challenged the County government to support irrigation to realize food security.
In April, the government announced that more than 1.4 million Kenyans were at risk of hunger, starvation and potentially might face acute food insecurity.
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna told a media briefing in Nairobi that the country is committed to ensuring that no Kenyan dies from lack of food as a result of the looming drought.
Oguna noted that the overall food security in the country is good but because of the poor performance of the short rains in the months of October-December 2020, the national food and nutrition security was marginally compromised.
The Government Spokesperson said that with the performance of the 2021 long-rains season forecasted to be poor, the food security situation is likely to worsen and the number of those in need of humanitarian support likely to increase towards August.
By Yobesh Onwong’a