School food plan gets Sh400m in Sakaja’s budget

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 08:00 | By
Nairobi Governor-elect Johnson Sakaja. PHOTO/Courtesy
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja. PHOTO/Courtesy

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has   assented to the Sh38.8 billion 2022/23 county budget passed by the County Assembly, paving the way for the roll out of his initiatives, including a school feeding programme.

The feeding programme received a boost after members allowed the Finance Committee to slash Sh400 million from the insurance kitty and put it into the school kitty.

“The feeding programme is one of our hallmark programmes. This financial year, we have budgeted for the construction of the kitchens,” Sakaja said.

In the governor’s plan, there will be a central kitchen in every sub-county which will serve between 10 to 15 public schools.

A breakdown of the Budget includes Sh26.98 billion for recurrent expenditure and Sh11.35 billion for development.

All 85 wards in Nairobi will receive Sh6 million up from Sh3.5 million for school bursaries, while emergency response and recovery will receive an increase of Sh100 million.

In a move to boost small-scale traders, the committee recommended an increase of Sh20 million for the allocation of Trade, Commerce and Tourism sectors.

Dispute resolution

In other amendments, the allocation to the County Public Service Board was increased by Sh10 million.

Allocation for rent of vehicles was reduced by Sh130 million and allocation for fuel and lubricants for transport will be reduced by Sh70 million.

Foreign travel, under Finance and Economic Planning, was also increased by Sh50 million.

Recurrent allocation for contracted guards and cleaning services increased by Sh100 million.

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Ken Ng’ondi said the Assembly was ready to support the Governor in delivering his mandate, adding that any disputes will be resolved amicably.

“We commit to work together in serving our people and in case there are any disputes we will use the right channels to address them,” Ng’ondi said.

Crime surge

Meanwhile, Sakaja has banned hawkers and street families from occupying footbridges.

The Governor said footbridges and flyovers were being used by criminals to attack and rob residents.

“There are street families that have been staying there (footbridges) and we have cleared them and cleaned the bridge to make sure there is security. Gangs had infiltrated them,” Sakaja said.

“We will not allow anyone to live or conduct business on the footbridges or flyovers. If you want a space for trade, then we will find your space for trade but not on such a public utility,” Sakaja said.

The decision comes at a time when police have reported that street families are conspirators in organised criminal syndicates in Nairobi streets such as Moi Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Haile Selassie Avenue and around Nairobi Railway Station. The areas have been identified as crime hot spots.

Footbridges in Nairobi were erected to prevent accidents involving pedestrians but most of them have since been taken over by hawkers and homeless people.

However, despite the intentions, the designated areas have been taken over by traders and hawkers who have converted them into permanent business premises.

Street families and beggars use the footbridges as shelter, especially when it rains.

A spot-check by People Daily at the Ngara footbridge revealed that pedestrians are forced to squeeze through the narrow passage as hawkers have occupied most of the space.

The situation is not different on Outering Road at the footbridge linking Buruburu to Umoja estates, where traders have taken over.

The Landhies Road footbridge has been dominated by street families. Most pedestrians avoid the footbridge.

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