ISIOLO—The county has embarked on a collaborative effort to ensure that the area is food secure in a bid to improve the enrollment of more children in schools.
A County Steering Group (CSG) meeting headed by Mr Bashir Jillo brought together National and County government officials as well as Development Partners was informed that education, agriculture and livestock sectors recorded improvement following the March-April- May 2023 long rain season.
Jillo said that the assessment that was done by various organizations after the long rains will be used in a nationwide survey being undertaken to find ways to control drought across the county and the country.
“The report being taken by the group representing the various dockets will also be used in a nationwide survey being undertaken to find ways to control drought,” Jillo said.
A livestock officer Mr Dickson Chaulo reported that the long rains had brought a positive impact on the livestock condition and pastures. “The April and May rains had been a factor in the development of the livestock sector where the grazing fodder improved thus improving animals’ body condition,” Chaulo said.
“Water for the livestock is at a normal level since all the sources are natural and accessible to the animals,” he said, adding that the birthrate of livestock that was below normal because of the drought will improve rapidly in three months to come.
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An officer from the agricultural department Ms. Esther Kajuju stated that the long rains were good for food and crop production but the crop performance was poor and they did not attain their long-term average.
She said the drop in performance was low because most of the farmers were not ready at the onset of the rains after they had incurred losses from the two-year drought.
Improvement measures have been put up around the county through the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes in Garbatulla and Bulesa irrigation schemes.
A report from the education sector indicated that the enrollment of students had greatly improved because of the increase in food availability. The CSG members were informed that students who had dropped from school during the drought had gone back to continue with their studies and now that an organization had volunteered to feed them.
Through a program called ‘In Kind School Meals Program’, (ISMP), 49632 students including 24124 boys and 25508 girls are retained in school because they are fed there.
Parents have also created a Community Supported School Meals Program (CSSMP) through which feeding of 8338 students comprising 3651 boys and 4477 girls is sustained.
“Food security in schools has really impacted schools in the enrollment and attendance of students in school showing a very positive change after the drought,” Jillo added.