Schools in Napak district have embarked on vegetable growing to supplement the school feeding program and improve on the children’s diet.
Schools in Napak district have embarked on vegetable growing to supplement the school feeding program and improve on the children’s diet. Most of the schools resorted vegetable growing after the UN World Food Program-WFP announced a plan to gradually withdraw from the school feeding program. Hakan Tongul, the WFP Deputy Country director recently wrote to head of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Karamoja region indicating that WFP would only be able to maintain a minimal level of support to schools throughout the first and second term.
He explained that due to lack of funds, WFP would only supply the Corn Soya Blend for porridge unlike in the previous terms where it would provide beans and maize flour to feed pupils and their teachers. As a result, most primary schools have been rendered helpless and are only able to provide porridge for lunch and supper to students. Emmanuel Modo, the deputy head teacher Kalokengel Boarding and Day primary school in Lotome Sub County in Napak district says the school cannot afford buying food for the children in the boarding section and thus they feed on porridge for both lunch and supper.
He says this has affected the school enrollment badly reducing the number of pupils to 312 pupils from about 650 last year when World Food Program was providing food for lunch and supper. He asks the office of the prime Minister to intervene to rescue the situation. Paul Ditekel, the deputy head teacher Kalotom Boarding and Day primary school in Ngaloriet sub county says his school has embarked on vegetable growing to supplement the school feeding program and the nutrition of the children.
He says currently they are using drip irrigation from the solar water pump system provided to the school by Adventist Relief Agency-ADRA to water their vegetable garden. He says that they started the vegetable growing project but handed it to pupils. He explains the school buys the vegetables from these children for their diet while they also sell some to the neighboring communities and traders from other districts. Ditekol boasts that the school has become a major supplier of vegetables and a training institution for vegetable growing.
He asks other schools to emulate them so as they don’t starve their children. Jennet Lekol, a primary six pupil has two small vegetable gardens. Lekol says that she has saved shillings 173, 000 from the proceeds of her farm. She explains that she always wakes up early by 6:00am and does gardening in her vegetable farm for 30 minutes before she organizes to go to class.
Lekol says she is happy that she has learnt a lot from the vegetable farming adding that during holidays she teaches her parents and neighbors to practice vegetable farming as alternatives to their household incomes and livelihoods. Lekol is hopeful that she will make money out of vegetable growing that would enable her pay her education at secondary level. She also urges other school children to take interest and visit their school to learn more on drip irrigation and vegetable growing so as they are able to supplement the school feeding programs from their schools.
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schools embark on vegetbale growing
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