County, Israel Partner to Tackle Malnutrition, Raise Education Standards

Susan Kihika and Israel Ambassador

The County Government of Nakuru and the Embassy of Israel in Kenya are exploring potential partnerships to address malnutrition and enhance food security in the region.

Governor Susan Kihika emphasized that the initiative will also bolster enrollment and retention of children in Early Childhood Education (ECDE) schools.

“This is my big program and if I can get more kids enrolled and retained in schools because of the school feeding program, I will have helped many children and parents who are unable because of poverty levels,” she said.

The Governor made these remarks following a meeting with Ms Yahel Margovsky Lotem, the spouse of the Israeli ambassador to Kenya, held in Muthaiga, Nairobi.

She revealed that plans were at an advanced stage and that Ms Yahel would grace the official launch of the feeding program in the coming days.

Through Israel’s Engineers Without Borders, the embassy has initiated a spirulina cultivation program, focusing on growing protein-rich blue algae in Njoro Sub-county.

Spirulina is a type of cyanobacteria containing various vitamins, including B vitamins and vitamin K, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Due to its dense nutrient content, spirulina is often consumed as a dietary supplement or incorporated into food products with potential health benefits.

Ms Yahel stated that the embassy would mobilize a team of experts from Israel to expand spirulina farming as a key ingredient in meals for ECDE children.

“The project has gained momentum in schools around Njoro, and we are committed to transforming Nakuru County into a hub for spirulina growth to address food security in the county,” she noted.

“Spirulina can supplement a daily diet for children in ECDE schools. Four grams of spirulina can save a severely malnourished child,” she added.

During her campaigns, Governor Kihika pledged that, if elected, her administration would launch school feeding programs aimed at increasing school enrollments.

Furthermore, she emphasized that the program would have a positive impact on local economies by creating employment opportunities, particularly in farming and kitchen activities.

Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting children’s learning abilities by positively impacting cognitive development, memory, and overall learning outcomes.

Present during the meeting were Nakuru County Chief of Staff, Dr Peter Ketyenya, Rev Edward Ngaira from the Office of the First Lady while Israel’s Engineers Without Borders chief executive officer, Ms Michal Dolav and Dr Opher Mendelson, one of the promoters of the project, attended virtually.

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