Kenya: Food tuition program seeks to alleviate drought
24 Jan 2017 - 10:28
NAIROBI, Kenya: Kenya’s president Monday ordered schools in arid and semi-arid areas of the eastern African country to accept food for school fees as the drought affecting 1.3 million Kenyans rages on.
Speaking in the town of Samburu, north-central Kenya, seeing off trucks carrying food to drought-stricken areas, Uhuru Kenyatta also told that $49 million announced last year for drought relief had been expanded to $53 million.
Kenyatta said that the school program in northern Kenya and some coastal areas will help mitigate the effects of the drought, now covering nearly one-quarter of Kenya’s 47 counties.
“The government will supply food items to schools, which will, in turn, deduct the cost of the food from the fees they charge students.”
According to the Kenyan government, the raging drought which has so far left more than 1.3 million people without food, is worsening and has shown no signs of receding.
The food-for-fees program is meant to benefit students by ensuring they don’t miss out on school, and also alleviate the burden that their parents – mostly nomadic pastoralists and farmers – are facing as the rivers continue going dry.
As thousands of livestock have also died from drought, Kenyatta announced that his government will purchase livestock from pastoralists which it will use to feed people suffering from hunger.
In major towns in Kenya including the capital Nairobi, water rationing has caused many to suffer as households get water only two days a week. The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company also recently outlawed all car wash businesses in a bid to conserve treated water.