Free milk for school children in Nairobi

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko distributing milk to children at Martin Luther Primari in Makadara./PHOTO FACEBOOK

Nairobi, KENYA: Children in the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centers in Nairobi County have something to smile about as they will be getting free milk twice a week, in a partnership program between Nairobi County government and Brookside Dairy Milk company.

Speaking while presiding over the program in Martin Luther Primary school in Makadara constituency, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said that the project will see delivery of a packet of milk twice a week to each of the 17,000 children in all public ECDE centers within Nairobi.

“More than 200 children have re-enrolled in school since September 7, when we began distributing the milk. This free milk project not only improves child nutrition and keeps hunger away; it also puts a smile on every child’s face,’’ said Sonko.

The Governor added that with the introduction of milk to schools, he expects the enrollment of children in ECDE centers to increase from the current 17,000 to about 23,000 children by December.

He pointed out that every ECDE centre will receive at least two more teachers before the end of the term once the county public service board completes the recruitment process.

The county boss further promised to build a modern ECDE center in every Ward in Nairobi.

“There are 10 Wards in Nairobi that do not have a single public primary school or ECDE centre. These are Utawala, Pipeline, Nyayo Highrise, Ngei, Ngando, Mabatini, Lucky Summer, Laini Saba, Kware and Imara Daima. My government is finalizing a proposal to develop a modern ECDE centre in every ward to end this marginalization,” he said.

Speaking in the event, Brookside Dairy Group Chief Operating Officer Faiz Taib said the School Milk Program reinforces the company’s commitment in building a healthier generation by offering nutrition education in schools, while communicating the importance of having dairy products as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“We are therefore confident that the Brookside Dairy Free School Milk Programme will increase both school attendance and retention levels, both which are vital for the realization of the country’s national goals of education,” said Taib.

Also at the event was Nairobi County Education CEC Janet Ouko who said her office will ensure the program is successful by coordinating the distribution of the free milk to all the 229 public ECDE centers within Nairobi County.

Kenya Dairy Board CEO Margaret Kibogy who was also at the event, supported the program saying it will address the nutritional challenges facing children especially in Nairobi County.