On Thursday, 3rd November 2022, Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd. (LTWP) begun a two-month Emergency Food Relief Programme set to benefit 17,700 primary school pupils across Laisamis Constituency by providing them with a meal per day for the remaining part of the 2022 school year and beginning of 2023 school year.
Speaking about the programme, LTWP CEO, Phylip Leferink, noted, “We are aware that the country is experiencing a prolonged drought situation, thus we have come back to support the same schools that we supported at the beginning of the year. LTWP has decided to continue this programme as part of our continued commitment to support and empower local communities across Laisamis Constituency”.
According to a joint statement by the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Humanitarian Network, the ASAL region of Kenya, which includes Laisamis Constituency, has endured three severe droughts in the last decade (2010-2011, 2016-2017, and 2020-2022). The current drought has been the most severe and longest with widespread livelihood losses and massive displacement of populations.
As a result of the drought, schools are increasingly lacking food to feed children. Consequently, combined with the fact that families must migrate in search of water, more children are dropping out of school.
Speaking about the initiative, LTWP ESG Manager, Felix Rottmann, said that the programme was vital for the continuity of the pupils’ education. He said: “The previous Emergency Food Relief Programme was meaningful and successful; thus, we are happy to partner with the schools again, especially seeing that the number of pupils has increased from 13,000 to 17,700. Our programme will provide sufficient food to feed each primary school pupil daily, across 67 primary schools”.
The drought situation in Northern Kenya and especially in Marsabit is dire. In response, LTWP has ramped up its drought assistance programme, which started in January 2022 when 13,000 primary school-going pupils were provided with one meal/day for two months.
“We are prioritizing primary schools because they have the most vulnerable children, who are malnourished or stunted because of lack of access to nutritious food during their early years. We are happy to support our county government partners and other private investors who are doing an equally good job in ensuring that the Constituency is well taken care of” Mr. Rottmann added.
LTWP will be donating food worth over 13 million shillings, with 124,000kg of maize, 33,000kg of beans, 3,730liters of cooking oil and 1,480kg of salt 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 well-being 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.
Receiving donations on behalf of the community, the County Director of Education, 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.
LTWP has spearheaded multiple projects and initiatives, through its Winds of Change Foundation, 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.
LTWP continues to implement sustainable projects and initiatives across Laisamis Constituency for the benefit of the local communities.