Senators Question School Feeding Programme Budget

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The Senate now wants the ministry of education to explain its usage of Sh873 million for the school feeding program.

This follows Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu’s update to the education committee that the ministry has so far spent the money on the school feeding program in the Arid and Semi-Arid areas.

Education committee members say they have not witnessed such programs in schools located in their specific counties.

According to the Vice Chair of the Committee Peris Tobiko, the situation on the ground for the drought-stricken counties is different adding that the areas have not been enlisted in the program.

“I am also very skeptical because your list does not show if the schools got the food, this is a list showing the requirements of the school, can you tell us where the taxpayers’ money has gone,” she said.

Nominated Senator Margaret Kamar questioned how CS Machogu was deciding on which schools need cash transfers and the others school food relief.

“I wonder where you are taking this food, and how you decide this school needs cash transfers and the other school will need food relief,” she asked.

According to the ministry, Ksh.201 million has been used to give cash transfers to various schools, Ksh.607 million to buy food, while a further Ksh.54 million has been used to transport the food to the counties of Turkana, Samburu, Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River Mandera, and West Pokot.

The CS said the budget comprises of rice worth Ksh.457 million, and beans worthKsh.115 million, vegetable oil worth Ksh.43 million, and salt worth Ksh.2 million for the last month in the ten counties.

CS Machogu told the Senators that they had ways of tracking the food to the school level where they get notified after the food has been received by the sub-county Education Director and the Deputy County Commissioner. 

The government in October 2018 took over from United Nations World Food Programme the responsibility of providing lunch to 1.6 million school children in arid and semi-arid areas.

Therefore, the Ministry of Education has been distributing food to ten counties adversely affected by drought which include; Isiolo, Mandera, Samburu, Kajiado, Tharaka Nithi, Turkana, Wajir, Laikipia, Tana River, and Marsabit.

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