Sakaja’s feeding budget slashed, moved to Silantoi’s docket
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja’s school feeding programme (Dishi na County) has been approved by the members of the County Assembly.
However, the budget has been reduced from the amount originally proposed by the County Executive Committee member for Finance, Mr Charles Kerich.
The county had proposed a budget of Sh1.2 billion for food and an additional Sh500 million for the construction of more kitchens and serving sheds.
But in the budget estimates presented to the Assembly on Thursday morning by the Finance, Budget and Appropriations Committee, the allocation for the feeding programme was reduced by Sh136 million.
The reduced amount has been allocated to various sectors, including Sh20 million for community engagement.
The programme, which was originally under the Health sector headed by Dr Anastasia Mutethya Nyalita, has also been moved to the Inclusivity, Public Participation and Citizen Engagement sector headed by CEC Susan Silantoi.
This is a blow to the Health CEC who has been at the forefront of the need to provide nutritious food to school children.
The reason for the change in who will oversee the programme has not been made clear, but Ms Silantoi has recently been behind the ongoing construction of feeding kitchens.
The feeding programme is aimed at primary school children in public schools, estimated at 250,000.
Mr Kerich said the programme will improve the nutritional status of learners and also encourage students to attend school, leading to increased enrolment, performance and progression to higher levels of education.
The governor has cited urban poverty among Nairobi residents as the root cause of low enrolment in public schools, a problem he has vowed to put an end to.
President William Ruto has praised the governor for the initiative and promised to support it by allocating some funds for the construction of feeding facilities.
The President also hinted at the possibility of extending the programme to parts of the country that have hardly been affected by the drought, as one of the strategies to encourage children to attend school.