Recent claims that went viral on the internet, that Tumaini Primary School pupils missed their meals in relation to Nairobi’s Dishi Na County feeding programme, raised many questions. But in a similarly viral video later, Mrs Millicent Kefa, the head teacher, discounted the claims.
Such claims are very disheartening, especially regarding an initiative like this one that has greatly improved school attendance and pupils’ performance. Again, it comes at a time Kenyans are battling inflation that makes it difficult to feed their families. Many children go to school hungry, which adversely affects their concentration in class.
Besides, the initiative by Governor Johnson Sakaja entails giving the pupils nutritionally balanced hot meals. This not only ensures they are healthy but also reduces their chances of developing health complications—such as malnutrition as a result of lacking food. It is, therefore, injudicious of one to make malicious claims on such a beneficial programme.
The initiative should be emulated by the other governors. The meals cost Sh45 per day. The county government pays Sh25, the Children Investment Foundation Fund Sh15 and the parents Sh5. Pupils whose parents cannot afford it are not excluded.
This being his first time, Mr Sakaja cannot fail to make mistakes. Challenges such as delay in food delivery are expected. It’s high time we kicked out propaganda and gave Sakaja ample time to execute his promise. Remember, this programme is barely two months old; it’s too early to judge him.
Instead of criticizing Sakaja, the other leaders in Nairobi should put aside their differences and support him to serve our children. Sakaja should be numb to the naysayers’ negativity and keep his eyes on the ball; what matters is that the pupils are fed.
Ms Namarome is a communication student at Rongo University. [email protected].