Relief food distributed by the Makueni County government to primary schools is in the centre of a controversy after several schools alleged that part of it was contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
The 10, 600 bags of maize and 2, 700 of beans procured in July by the devolved unit at a cost of Sh.87 million was an emergency intervention meant to cushion more than 240, 000 pupils against hunger occasioned by a prolonged drought in the preceding months.
A spot check by KNA in a few schools in Kaiti Sub County revealed that several bags of maize were moldy and the head teachers were waiting a report from the county public health officials who had taken samples of it to the government chemist for testing.
The Headteacher Kyamutimba Primary School, Samuel Mulwa, confirmed receiving 21 bags of maize and five of beans in August but disclosed that the school had not consumed it after it exhibited signs of contamination.
When we received the maize it was wet. We dried it under the sun for some days but decided not to cook it as we could not ascertain whether it was contaminated or not, he said.
Mr. Mulwa said numerous tests of the maize by public health officials had yielded nothing and asked the County Government to replace the contaminated maize. The same scenario was replicated at Itumbule and Kyamuthei primary schools.
A county public health official who requested for anonymity confirmed receiving claims but disclosed that samples of the maize had been taken to the government chemist in Nairobi and the results would be out by Tuesday.
”It is true we have received complaints about the maize and the results are due tomorrow. We shall give a way forward depending on the outcome, he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency