By Kamau Njoroge

The Kiambu County Government has launched a feeding programme for Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) children in the county.

The Sh.52 million Kiambu County Instant Porridge programme will benefit some 37,000 children in the 528 ECDE centres across the county according to governor James Nyoro.

Nyoro, who spoke while launching the programme and commissioning the newly built Jacob Wells ECDE centre in Murera Ward, Juja Sub-county, said the initiative is a collaboration between the county government and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

“We partnered with JKUAT to provide the certified porridge flour to our ECDE centres that will help in retaining our children in school. The porridge flour has various minerals that will help fight malnutrition amongst our young pupils,” Nyoro said.

The governor, who was accompanied by a host of  MCAs, divulged that the county government was seeking more partnerships to make the programme a full feeding programme.

“Funds for the porridge programme are intact and to enhance its sustainability we are engaging more partners to even elevate it to a full feeding programme where our young ones will be getting all meals in school,” he said.

Nyoro disclosed that the programme was brought to a halt by the previous regime due to misappropriation of funds allocated to it.

“I will jealously defend this initiative for the sake of our children. I have seen what mismanagement of resources for such programmes have done before. This is a sustainable project that will be of great impact in our ECDE centres,” Nyoro said.

At the same time the county chief called on parents to enroll their children in ECDE centres within the county, noting that his administration was working round the clock to open new EDCE centres and  improve existing infrastructure as well as hiring more teachers.

“I urge Kiambu parents to take their children to the school and make good use of the teachers and infrastructure that we have set up. We have already hired some 1200 trained ECDE teachers on permanent terms. Further, we are opening new centres to cut the distance to school for our young ones,” the governor said.

Nyoro added, “The  new  Jacob Wells ECDE Centre is our model and we will be putting up more modern centres to give our children a good environment to learn and play from,”

Elated Murera parents led by Martha Wanjiru welcomed the initiative saying that the porridge will boost their children’s health, adding that the new facility is a reprieve for parents who could not afford to take their children to private centres.

“This project is godsend and a shot in the arm for most us who couldn’t meet the high fees demanded by private nursery schools. Our children will now not have to walk for a long distance to school,” Wanjiru said.


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