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Daily Nation : February 10th 2014
DAILY NATION Monday February 10, 2014 HUNGER famine-hit regions ‘‘ been affected in most schools. More than 6,000 pupils cannot attend school in Kinango due to hunger. “Our people here depend on water from dams but unfortunately many of the dams have dried so families have been forced to relocate to other areas,” said Mr Simeon Nyundo, the Kinango sub-county Knut general secretary. He asked the government swiftly save the learners. Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said his government had set aside Sh9 million for food interventions in all the affected areas in the county. “As the county government, we are fully devoted to ensure that we bring on board all relevant stakeholders to see the way forward on how we can resolve this situation,” Mr Mvurya said. County commissioner Evans Achoki expressed optimism that the crisis could be contained. “It is the delay of rains dur- ing the month of November and December that has made us be where we are today,” he added. In Lamu, many pupils in Basuba, Lamu East constituency, have been forced to skip school and look for menial jobs to get food and fend for their families. Basuba ward representa- tive Mohamed Delo Nusura yesterday told the Nation that pupils, especially boys aged eight and nine had had to look for menial jobs to enable them cater for their needs and only went to school for examinations. I can assure you that the situation is not at the level where it should worry anybody” Dr Belio Kipsang, Education PS The Education ministry has said it has intervened to save pupils from hunger. Education Principal Sec- retary, Prof Belio Kipsang last evening told the Nation that the government last week disbursed Sh388 million for provision of food in schools this term. The Ministry has further set aside another Sh300 million to monitor rainfall and could send more money to the affected areas if the rains fail, he added. “I can assure you that the situation is not at the level where it should worry anybody. As of now we have not stopped the school feeding programme in any part of the country,” said the PS. “This has contributed to very poor results in the national exams every year,” he said. Hunger keeps pupils out of classrooms BY NATION CORRESPONDENTS Many children in Marsabit County are yet to report to their schools since they re-opened in January due to hunger. This was revealed yester- day by Governor Ukur Yatani (right). He said hunger had dis- rupted learning at more than seven boarding schools in areas like Moyale. “They are launching the school feeding programme very late and at a time when families have abandoned their homes in a desperate search for food and water,” said Mr Yatani. The amount of food being sent is insignificant, he added. Mr Yatani said the county might be forced to divert funds from some programmes to help save the situation. The governor appealed to the national government to release Sh500 million to enable them to respond to the food crisis. He said the county govern- ment’s budget is inadequate. “There are various compo- nents to be considered — the elderly, school-going children, children under five, livestock and the logistics of transporting the food to all the affected areas,” he said. On Wednesday last week, six governors from counties hard hit by famine met with Deputy President William Ruto, who pledged to hasten efforts to feed the hungry and keep children in schools. The Marsabit county govern- ment has already spent Sh30 million in providing food and water in Moyale and North Horr border towns. Reports by Kazungu Samuel, Kalume Kazungu and Farouk Mwabege National News 9 More schools included in feeding plan over drought At Milimani Primary School in the ward, only eight students did KCPE examinations last year and all of them failed. Speaking about Bargoni, where the Boni people live, Mr Delo said hunger pangs had forced the community into forests to gather fruits to feed their children. Schools in Milimani, Mara- rani and Bargoni were among those that recorded low student turnout due to severe hunger, he said. The leader urged well- wishers to provide relief to residents in the region. Quit learning In Faza, Pate, Kizingitini and Siyu, some pupils have quit learning to be coxswains or to fish. At Koreni Primary School in Mkunumbi ward, Lamu West district, the situation is the same. Mr Shebwana Haji Ahmed, the head teacher, told the Nation that due to famine, the school had 152 pupils only. The pupils, most of whom were Kore, Somali, Oromo and Sanye spent some of their school time outside, looking for food with their parents, according to the teacher. “This has greatly affected learning,” said Mr Ahmed. He urged the government to introduce school feeding to give the learners a reason to return to school. BY NATION CORRESPONDENTS Lack of food and water has hampered learning in 10 primary schools in Tiaty sub-county, as the drought takes its toll in many parts of Baringo County. The situation has been made worse by pastoralists who have moved with their school-going children to neighbouring Samburu, Turkana and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties, looking for water and pasture for their animals after major rivers and water pans in the area dried up. A spot check by the Nation last week found residents and their livestock scrambling for water being distributed by the county government in water bowsers. Baringo Governor Ben- jamin Cheboi launched a relief food distribution drive in Nakoko, Nadan and Chemolingot in Tiaty, which has been the worst hit, in the company of sub-county commissioners Daniel Kurui (Tiaty) and Joshua Ogango (Baringo North). Avert loss of life Mr Cheboi said that the county government had procured 1,500 bags of maize, 200 bags of beans, 500 bags of rice and 100 cartons of cooking oil for each of the sub-counties hit by hunger and called on well-wishers to help avert further loss of life. FILE | NATION A girl and her mother move in search of water in Turkana over a biting drought. Schools in Baringo have also been affected by the prolonged drought. “We are also liaising with the World Food Programme and other partners so that affected schools can be included in the school feeding programme. We are targeting the most vulnerable including children and the elderly in the relief food distribution,” said the governor. County director of education Hellen Nyang’au said following the drought, primary schools that were initially not included in the feeding programme were now in dire need of food aid. More than 180,000 people are facing starvation in the region with three elderly people said to have succumbed to hunger related illnesses in Silale and Ripkwo/Kositei wards in Tiaty. Mr Cheboi said as a last- ing solution, the county has invested in irrigation projects with more than 10,000 hectares set to be put under agriculture.
February 9th 2014
February 11th 2014