School Feeding Stalled As 10 Cooks Die In Anambra State

School Feeding Stalled As 10 Cooks Die In Anambra State

School Feeding Stalled As 10 Cooks Die In Anambra State

School Feeding Stalled As 10 Cooks Die In Anambra State

The death of 10 cooks for the Homegrown School Feeding Scheme in Anambra State, according to Program Manager Eriken Uzoamaka, has made it more difficult to carry out the program in the state.

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On Thursday in Awka, Uzoma revealed this while addressing the media outside of a two-day workshop on developing capacity that the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice had organized.

The elementary school students could no longer benefit from the program because the 10 dead chefs have not yet been replaced, she stated, without mentioning the cause or nature of the mentioned cooks’ deaths. According to Uzoamaka, the cooks were chosen from the local communities surrounding the primary schools, checked by the national authority, and trained in food safety and cleanliness to provide catering services in the schools.

She said,

“All the government-owned primary schools in the state should be benefiting from this programme, but due to challenges in the programme, some schools are not benefiting.

“Since the inception of the programme in 2016, about 10 cooks have died and it is affecting the programme in some schools.

“It is only the national body that can recruit and replace them. We have no right to replace them but we have written to inform the national body and they have yet to be replaced.

“Each cook caters for about 150 pupils and they are being paid at the national level. So if you do the calculation, about 1,500 pupils are not benefiting.”

School Feeding Stalled As 10 Cooks Die In Anambra State

Uzoamaka said the high cost of food items in the country was also affecting the quality of the food prepared by the cooks.

“It is affecting the programme and the quality of food given to the children.

“The cooks are really complaining and the high cost of food items is making it difficult for them to give us an adequate meal per child.

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“This development has made the Federal Government agree to increase the meal price from N70 to N100, but it is yet to be implemented,” she said.

The programme manager said the school feeding programme increased the population of pupils, as many children ran away from private schools to enrol in government-owned schools.

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