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Ruto promises to double beneficiaries of school feeding program from 1.6 to 4M

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023 22:52 | By
President of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto.
President William Ruto. PHOTO/William Ruto/Facebook

President William Ruto said that the government will increase the number of children benefitting from the School Feeding Program from 1.6 to 4 million.

During the launch of the Nairobi County School Feeding Program at Roysambu Primary School on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, Ruto said that the government will increase the amount budgeted for the feeding program from Ksh5 billion to Ksh6 billion to widen the pool of beneficiaries.

In his speech, Ruto explained that the government will table a supplementary budget of Ksh1 billion in Parliament, to match the cost that is set to increase as a result of the increase in the number of children set to benefit from the program.

President Ruto and Nairobi governor Sakaja. PHOTO/Ruto/Facebook.

"From 2018, tumekuwa tukilisha watoto 1.6B from the school feeding program. I did commit that we are going to double the number. I want to announce here today, that we are not just going to double the number.

"We are going to increase the number of children in our primary schools under the school feeding program from 1.6 million children to 4 million children so that we can have our children going to school and having a hot meal for lunch every day when they are in school.

"Na nimekubaliana na governors. Kila governor ambaye ataweka shilling moja kwa school feeding program, serikali itaweka shilling moja kwa school feeding program," he said.

"We are going to merge counties who have a plan on school feeding program, shilling for shilling and if we do that, we can actually feed 8 million children in our schools."

Ruto added that the move is meant to keep children in school and to help them concentrate on learning. He added that the program will also boost the learning outcome and increase attendance in school.

"We will increase the outcome from our schools if our children are attending schools on a full stomach," Ruto concluded.

Bag of promises

Speaking at the school feeding program event, Ruto remarked that in the Finance Bill, Ksh170 million had been set aside to address the sewage crisis in Roysambu and other Nairobi towns.

President William Ruto. PHOTO/Ruto/Facebook.

He also said that another Ksh250 billion has been pledged to road construction in the fiscal year 2023/2024, adding that the government was going to contribute the same amount in succeeding fiscal years.

In addition, the president committed to building 3,500 new classrooms in Nairobi on a Ksh3 billion budget.

Sakaja on feeding program

Speaking during the launch of the School Feeding Program, Sakaja emotionally stated the gap that the feeding program was going to fill.

"It is sad that children are forced to stay at home because they are too weak to walk to school because they missed a meal at home, especially, in the evening," Sakaja stated. 

Sakaja stated that the county of Nairobi was going to ensure that the school-going children are fed.

"We as county government will ensure that our children will be well fed and are kept in school so that they can study and learn without facing any hunger problems," Sakaja affirmed.

President Ruto, Governor Sakaja and Education CS Machogu. PHOTO/Sakaja/Facebook.

At a point in his delivery of the speech, Sakaja was filled with emotions, tearing up at the thought of children attending school without food. He took a few seconds mid his speech, to collect his emotions and wipe his tears after he was comforted.

He proceeded with his speech saying, "We have no choice but to help our children achieve their dreams in life."

"I'm sure that this programme, Dishi Na County, will go a long way in helping them get to where they should be," Sakaja added.

The governor noted that the Dishi Na County program will serve daily meals to nearly 200,000 primary school children in Nairobi.

He added that the county and national governments will sponsor the program, which will be offering school kitchens meals prepared using locally produced products.

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