Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates from 78 schools in Tharaka Nithi County who have been sitting for the examination on empty stomachs have received food from the devolved unit’s woman representative, Susan Ngugi.
The elderly and sickly also hit hard by hunger received some rations as they await maturity of their crops next month.
Speaking while launching the distribution of the donation at the county headquarters Kathwana on Wednesday, Ms Ngugi who was accompanied by county commissioner Nobert Komora said the food is enough to last until the students complete the examination.
She noted some candidates had no food to eat as they sat for the examination after it was reported that Kathangacini Mixed Day Secondary School candidates were being fed by well-wishers in a nearby Kathancini market during lunch hour.
“It is painful and embarrassing to see our children sitting for the KCSE moving around the market borrowing food and that is why I have treated the issue as an emergency and used my money to buy some foodstuff for them,” said Ms Ngugi.
She added that due to the prolonged drought, many locals were facing hunger with parents unable to pay school fees while school managers are struggling to feed students.
She lauded Tharaka MP Gitonga Murugara and his Maara counterpart Kareke Mbiuki for responding to her call and also distributing food to the needy schools, especially in the semi-arid Tharaka constituency, Igambang’ombe Sub-county and parts of lower Maara constituency.
Ms Ngugi urged the administrators and the public to ensure no person dies of hunger by helping the most vulnerable.
The legislator said the only lasting solution to hunger in the county is the provision of water for irrigation and not relief food which is never enough.
While lauding the initiative by Ms Ngugi and other leaders, Mr Komora said many people are suffering from hunger and the last time the county received some relief food from the government was in October.
“We received from the national government 300 and 360 bags of rice and beans respectively in October this year which was not enough,” said Mr Komora.
He said some parts of the county have received little rainfall and will still need relief food even next year.