Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has today made a reality the Dishi na County school feeding initiative with the roll out of the programme that is aimed at providing hot meals to all pupils in Nairobi’s public primary schools and ECDE schools.
More than 88,000 children have today had their first lunch time meal as the program was officially launched at the Baba Dogo primary school in Ruaraka constituency.
Speaking during the launch, Governor Sakaja said that the 10 state of the art kitchens which the county has constructed will prepare meals for over 88,000 children in various schools across the city with more kitchen being constructed to increase the number by another 100,000 children in the next three weeks.
“We said that we are working for all Nairobians and we are not giving any empty promise. We promised to start this program on 28th August and today, being that day, we are here to roll out the program. In the next three weeks, the number will increase by another 100,000 children as we aim ta have this program cater for at least 350,000 children,” Sakaja said.
Sakaja said that through the initiative, the Nairobi county government aims at ensuring that no child will go to school and learn on an empty stomach or have to choose between going to school are staying at home for lack of lunch.
Acknowledging that Nairobi has more children out of school that far flung arid ares in Northern Kenya due to the acute urban poverty, Sakaja announced that his administrative will work with the national government to construct 5000 new classrooms to cater for the expected sharp rise in school enrollment.
Parents will be required to pay only five shillings per day for their child’s lunch which will be done by the tap to eat system by use of technology.
Sakaja promised to ensure that the program is conducted above board and no public funds will be lost in the program.
“We will ensure that this program is conducted transparently and we will take care of your taxes. No public money will be lost anywhere.
Sakaja lauded the Health, nutrition and Wellness County Executive Committee member Suzanne Silantoi who has worked to ensure that the program is rolled out.
Area Member of Parliament TJ Kajwang commended the governor for the initiative saying that this is a project that directly benefits the regular Nairobi resident and would be of great benefit for the children of Nairobi. “I want to thank you for choosing Ruaraka and Baba Dogo to launch this program that goes straight into the heart of the community. This will also increase the enrollment to schools and therefore, Governor, you must be ready to build more schools,” Kajwang said.
Nairobi County Secretary Parick Analo said that the feeding program will be implemented through an innovative three-stage approach.
“The approach is aimed to scale up lunch meals delivered, logistics and technology to ensure we are delivering the highest quality of food and service which our children deserve,” he said.
Analo added that lunch meals will be prepared every day by our implementing partner- Food for Education in environmentally friendly kitchens distributed across the 17 sub-counties of Nairobi.
“These kitchens utilize green energy and adhere to the highest national and international safety standards including the recommended World Health Organization (WH0) standards,” he added.
The second stage will be launched in three weeks and the final stage will commence subsequently.