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Fact check: Inside Sakaja’s Dishi na County initiative

By Winnie Onyando September 20th, 2023 2 min read

In a bid to uncover the real impact of Governor Johnson Sakaja’s ‘Dishi na County’ feeding program, Nairobi News embarked on a journey to assess its effectiveness in four schools, three of which were part of the first phase beneficiaries.

The program aims to provide nutritious meals to schoolchildren, ensuring they have the energy and nourishment needed to excel in their studies.

Our reporter delved into the heart of these institutions, keeping sources anonymous for security reasons, and found a mix of responses regarding the initiative’s progress.

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At three of the primary schools, whispers of approval filled the air.

According to undisclosed sources, the feeding program kicked off seamlessly three to four weeks ago, exciting pupils with daily nourishing meals.

“Even before 11 am, food is here. Very hot and enough to feed all the pupils,” one source excitedly shared.

Another beneficiary echoed the sentiment, stating, “Yes, the food always arrives here early, and we are served at lunchtime. We eat until we are full, and sometimes we even have leftovers.”

In a different school, our reporter encountered parents collecting their children in the evening, and they unanimously voiced their satisfaction with the program.

“I paid Sh5, and my child has never come home complaining that he has not eaten. The initiative is good, and I honestly thank Governor Johnson Sakaja,” one grateful parent expressed.

However, in another school, the atmosphere was quite different.

Teachers eagerly awaited the food, promised during the second phase, but it never arrived. They were eventually forced to cook for the hungry pupils.

“We have not seen the ‘Dishi na County’ food, and we are still waiting. We thought it would be delivered today (Monday), but it was not, so we had to cook for the learners,” a source shared with Nairobi News.

Governor Sakaja’s feeding program has not been without its share of challenges since its inception, with parents, in particular, voicing concerns about late food deliveries.

However, Governor Sakaja has staunchly defended the program, taking on leaders who claim it isn’t working.

This defense came in response to a heated exchange between Governor Sakaja and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, who criticized the feeding program. Babu asserted that the initiative, launched in August, has not brought benefits to Nairobi schoolchildren. He pointed to disruptions in school schedules due to transport issues causing delays in food delivery, labeling it a scandal.

Governor Sakaja countered these claims on Monday, dismissing them as political propaganda. “A few people are against our feeding program for nefarious reasons. Resorting to propaganda won’t work. Using children for politics won’t work,” Sakaja declared.

He added, “Sadly, opportunistic premature 2027 aspirants are so hell-bent on ensuring this program doesn’t work that they are even considering harming our children. Let me tell them; ‘Watoi Wadishi, Washibe, Wasome, Wanone.’ It must work.”

According to Governor Sakaja, the first phase of schools onboarded has been receiving their hot meals daily and on time. The ‘Dishi na County’ initiative, though facing challenges, remains a crucial effort in ensuring the well-being and educational success of Nairobi’s young learners.