The Busia government will start a pilot free milk programme for schoolchildren in January next year. Two schools in each ward will be enrolled for six months. Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) chief officer Lydia Nabwire said the milk will improve children’s health and increase school enrolment. She urged dairy farmers to take advantage of the progamme to increase production and income.
Nabwire spoke on Monday at the end of the county’s milk policy workshop. It was attended by Education and Vocational Training chief officer Daniel Mogoria, directors Leonard Opollo (vocational training), Douglas Barasa (ECDE), deputy speaker Lawrence Okaale and Carolyne Wafula (subcounty vocational training officer).
Acting director of Finance Paul Onono and Education and Vocational Training executive John Mwami praised the initiative, saying they were beneficiaries of the Nyayo milk programme. Nyayo milk was distributed to primary school children in the 1980s and 90s. Mwami said the milk programme is the brainchild of Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and will be a milestone for the county.
He said executives will burn the midnight oil to ensure the programme succeeds. Onono said the programme will increase school enrolment. Kocholia Parish priest Francis Ekisa praise the intiative. He urged the county government to introduce a wider feeding programme to include sweet potatoes, which would keep children healthy and give farmers more income.
Nabwire said the county has developed a milk policy, charter, trust deed, trust fund deed and school milk manual. They will be accompanied by school management ledgers, registers and programme of activities. Nabwire said the county is up to the task despite expected problems of enrolment.