Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The World Food Program has embarked on the distribution of home take-away rations for primary and secondary school learners in the Karamoja region.
The food distribution is aimed at ensuring that school-going children in the region have access to food while at home at a time when many households in the region are struggling to get meals because of food insecurity. The initiative is targeting 129,000 learners from 313 primary and secondary schools.
The Head of WFP in Karamoja Mohamed Satti says each child will take home nine kilograms of maize flour, three kilograms of beans and six litres of vegetable cooking oil. Satti explains that the distribution which began this week will run until July 25, across the nine districts of Karamoja.
According to the guidelines, only pupils and learners who attained 20 percent attendance before the closure of schools in March will qualify for the take-home food package.
Satti said WFP has put in place all checks and balances to ensure that the food reaches the intended beneficiaries and there is no mismanagement or abuse of the intervention.
Gilbert Buzu, the head of programs at WFP – Karamoja said the distribution is also intended to teach parents in Karamoja that giving children access education is beneficial. He said the take-home ration distribution of food for only learners will motivate parents to send children to school.
“We are sending a strong message to parents in the region that sending a child to school has multiple benefits.The food is only for children attending school. If a parent has four children in school they each get their own food rations and we hope this is timely support to families where children study,” Buzu told URN.
Peter Loyolo, a resident from Loputuk sub county in Moroto Ddistrict says the distribution will substantially ensure the learners have something to eat for some weeks during this period of food insecurity.
Nadunget sub-county chairperson Rafael LoLem says that all schools in his area have been covered and that the parents are excited with the initiative. He is optimistic that with this, many will be persuaded to take their children to school when the government reopens educational institutions.