Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd. (LTWP) has launched a two-month Emergency Food Relief Programme set to benefit 13,000 primary school pupils by providing them with a meal per day from January 10th to March 10th, 2022 (i.e. the third/last term of the 2021/2022 academic year). LTWP has decided to launch this Programme as part of their continued commitment to support and empower the local communities in Laisamis Constituency.
According to a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “the cumulative impact of two consecutive poor rainy seasons, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, pests and diseases have caused humanitarian needs to rapidly rise in the Arid and Semi-Arad Lands (ASAL) region of Kenya.”
As a result of the drought, schools are increasingly lacking food to feed children. Consequently, and combined with the fact that families must migrate in search of water, more children are dropping out of school.
Speaking at an event to launch the Programme, LTWP CEO, Mr. Phylip Leferink, said that the project was vital and timely for the continuity of the pupils’ education during their last term of the academic year. He said: “The drought situation in Northern Kenya and especially in Marsabit is dire. We as LTWP have ramped up our drought assistance programme that started with the provision of water to communities around our wind farm to provision of food to all primary schools across Laisamis Constituency. We will provide sufficient food to feed each primary school pupil daily, in all sixty primary schools located in Laisamis constituency. “
He added: “We want to ensure every primary school going pupil has access to a meal a day for the next two months as they strive to complete their last term, prioritizing primary schools because they have the most vulnerable children, many of whom are malnourished or stunted because of lack of access to nutritious food in their early years.”
LTWP will be donating food worth over 12 million shillings, to be distributed directly to the schools by LTWP’s Community Liaison Team using LTWP vehicles.
This aligns with LTWP’s core values that showcase their commitment and collaborative agenda that seeks to enhance the wellbeing of local communities.
The national government, through the County Commissioner lauded the move and called on more organizations to join hands to cushion local communities affected by the drought.
“We welcome other organizations to help communities affected by natural disasters. Our role includes building resilient relationships that directly support all aspects of families’ wellbeing. We can make a difference if governments, organizations, and the private sector act swiftly to meet the needs of affected communities,” said the County Commissioner Marsabit, Mr. Paul Rotich.
Receiving the donations on behalf of the community, the County Director of Education Mr. Apollo Apuko, called on corporate organizations and individuals to collaborate towards alleviating the chronic food insecurity challenge affecting communities, especially schools, that are the backbone of our future generation.
“Food security affects the delivery of education to children especially in the formative years. This should be a priority for us, and we are thankful to LTWP for stepping in as this Programme will go a long way in supplementing the Ministry of Education’s school meals initiative. I believe that an investment in knowledge, pays the best interest.” Said Mr. Apuko.
Over the years, LTWP has spearheaded multiple projects and initiatives that have seen education, employment, and health benefits to the local communities. Among which, multiple health facilities have been built and adequately resourced, several schools have been improved (e.g. through the building of classrooms, laboratories, dormitories and administrative blocks), boreholes drilled and equipped across different regions of the constituency and many more ongoing projects that continue to serve the local communities across the county.
Most recently, LTWP implemented a water delivery programme in September and October 2021, whereby water was regularly delivered to communities around the regions of South Horr, Kargi, Mt. Kulal, Korr, Namarei, Sunyai and Oibor. This programme is still ongoing as the drought continues to disrupt local livelihoods.
LTWP continues to implement sustainable projects and initiatives across Laisamis Constituency for the benefit of the local communities.