BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Death Of 10 Cooks Hampers Buhari’s School Feeding Programme In Anambra. The Programme Manager, Homegrown School Feeding Scheme, Anambra State, Mrs. Eriken Uzoamaka, says the death of 10 cooks of the scheme hampered the running of the programme in the State.Our correspondent reported that Mrs. Uzoamaka gave the hint in an interview with journalists in Awka, the State Capital at an ongoing two-day capacity-building workshop organised by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice.Although she didn’t mention the cause or nature of their deaths, she simply said that primary school pupils could no longer benefit from the programme because the 10 dead cooks have yet to be replaced.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.” She 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.“This development has made the Federal Government agree to increase the meal price from N70 to N100, but it is yet to be implemented,” Mrs. Uzoamaka said.The Programme Manager, however, disclosed that the programme has increased the enrollment of children in schools.The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSF) was started by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and it is projected to provide 1.14 million jobs across the Country, through the engagement of cooks and others.