Starving school going children in Laikipia County have benefitted from the first delivery of relief food from the government.
Speaking during the flagging off of the relief food in Nanyuki, Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said the food would be distributed to most drought hit schools in the area.
“We have targeted schools which will receive the relief food and the quantity. We have done that in partnership with The Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) and The Secondary Schools Heads Associations. I want to tell parents that not all schools will get food but only the most affected, however, the rest will receive as we move forward,” said the governor, adding that due to the drought situation school enrolment had dropped.
Some of the items flagged off were 2000 bags of rice each weighing 25 kilograms, 833 cans of oil-10 litres can and 185 bags of beans weighing 90 kilograms. Earlier, the governor had noted he would set aside Sh20 million to address the drought situation in the county.
He noted, all development matters had been halted to address the alarming drought issues in the county. “We are still soliciting for resources and to feed our people especially now that we are experiencing drought. We will not allow our people to die of hunger,” said Irungu.
Laikipia East Deputy Commissioner Patrick Muli said that schools had seen pupils faint due to hunger which the government is committed to averting the situation and at the same urged the targeted beneficiaries to use the food responsibly and not divert elsewhere.
Laikipia County Director in charge of Education Charles Nyakundi noted the school feeding programme will be implemented well and no student will be sent home. Some schools in Nanyuki and Solio benefitted.
According to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), about 183,000 people in Laikipia are facing famine.
Laikipia, was marked to have slid to the alarm drought stage with two counties of Tharaka Nithi and Tana River raising the number of counties at alarm to 10. Other counties at the alarm stage are Isiolo, Mandera, Garissa, Turkana, Wajir, Samburu, and Marsabit.
By Muturi Mwangi