FOOD WORTH MILLIONS DECAYING IN SCHOOL STORES WHILE BOM TEACHERS AND OTHER KENYANS ARE STARVING!
Reports reaching our media house now indicate that food worth millions of shillings may decay in school stores after an unprecedented closure of schools in March to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Some principals of boarding schools have now resorted to converting the food stocks into animal feeds, returning it to the suppliers, and in some cases selling the food to meet some costs such as paying subordinate workers.
However, in some cases, the food might go to waste owing to the bureaucratic procedures involved in the procurement and disposal processes.
This raises concerns about the safety of such food if consumed by students once schools reopen in January 2021.
In Maralal High School, for instance, the principal Mr. Maurice Obong’o has been forced to turn cereals meant for consumption by humans into dairy feeds.
“The school management decided to avoid incurring losses. We realized it could be a big loss and the best way was to grind the cereals and turn them into dairy feeds,” said Mr. Obong’o.
He further added that if stored for long, the food would easily be exposed to aflatoxins that would render it unfit for learners’ consumption once schools reopen.
Last year, the International Crops Research Institute warned that Kenya is one of the world’s aflatoxin hotspots, a leading factor predisposing Kenyans to cancer.
The scenario was further attributed to an estimated 30 percent of liver cancer cases in Africa.
This wastage will be a great blow to parents since the Government does not have enough resources to fully support boarding schools.
Schools usually buy food under boarding equipment and stores vote head, which is charged to parents.
Other schools like Olulunga Boys High School in Narok County have been forced to return the food to suppliers for other buyers to access them.
Olulunga Boys High School Principal said that the school had 200 sacks of maize, 30 bags of sugar, and more than 100 bags of beans and other foodstuffs in the store.
Naikarra High School Principal John Ole Kuyo and Maasai Girls High School principal Rose Ateko also said that their schools were forced to distribute the foodstuff to non-teaching staff to sustain them especially now that they have not been receiving salaries for over months now.
This comes at a time when most Kenyans are surviving from hand to mouth following the harsh economic realities brought about by the pandemic.
The worst affected group comprises teachers employed by school management boards, private school teachers, and subordinate staff.
Our major question is, why should food fit for human consumption be given to cows and pigs when BOM teachers and other Kenyans are going hungry?