Murang’a County government has embarked on a feeding programme at pre-school level which will see over 42,000 ECDE learners get a cup of porridge every day in school.
The programme is meant to keep the young children in school especially this time when residents in most parts of the county are experiencing hunger occasioned by prolonged dry weather.
Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata underscored the importance of the programme saying it will ensure the young learners get porridge which has nutrients that support growth and development of children.
“There are children who go to school without food or parents are not able to pay the required fees for porridge, so the county government in collaboration with an NGO came up with the idea of providing children with porridge,” Kang’ata said while launching the programme in Kangema on Monday.
He said that they conducted piloting of the programme towards the end of last year and got feedback where parents suggested improvements that are now being worked on.
Kang’ata indicated that they would ensure that there would be accountability for the porridge delivered to all public ECDE centres in the county.
“The porridge will be prepared at a central place and be distributed to local ECDE centres. This will cut costs of running the programme,” he elaborated.
The chairperson of Murang’a County Parents’ Association, David Mwaura Mwangi stressed the importance of the programme saying it relieved the parents of the big burden of taking food to their children while at school.
“As parents, some of us were unable to enroll our children while some children missed school because they had no food to carry to school,” he attested.
He also added that there has been an increased enrollment because of the free porridge and parents have embraced the programme.
The porridge will be stored in sealed containers and boda boda riders will be used to deliver the porridge to schools.
Murang’a deputy governor, Stephen Munania, who was also present said that the main purpose of the program is to nurture young people from an early age.
Moses Muchiri, Member of County Assembly for Muguru ward, said MCAs support the programme adding they passed the needed legislations to ensure young children get the free porridge.
“As members of the county assembly we will continue to monitor the programme to ensure it is effectively implemented. The uji comes at a time when parents are faced by many challenges which at some point makes it difficult to take their children to school,” Muchiri said.
By Bernard Munyao and Ian Muchiri