By Kampala Post Reporter
KABALE. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has strongly criticized some families’ bad habit of selling off all the food they grow and then remain with nothing to feed their children on.
“If someone sells off all the food in his garden, where does he put the money that he gets and why not use that money then to buy food for the family?” Mrs. Janet Museveni, who was in the Kigezi region on her school feeding campaign, asked. This was in response to a concern of a caller during the Talkshow she was hosted on at Voice of Kigezi Radio in Kabale Municipality on Thursday.
Ainebyona Alex from Kambuga in Kanungu District raised an issue about the rampant practice in the Kigezi region where traders from neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Congo, South Sudan and Kenya come and book the entire garden of crops right after planting and when harvesting time comes, the trader takes away all the food since he paid for it, leaving the family with nothing to even feed their children on. This has led to increased household food insecurity in the region.
“When I was growing up I knew the Bakiga as very hardworking, self-reliant and developmental people, but it is of shame that parents from Kigezi also now fail to feed their children. It is a disgrace,” Janet Museveni said.
She said what the parents are trying to do to create wealth is appreciated but they should not also neglect their cardinal roles of providing food, shelter, clothing and health care for their children who are our future.
“I know the women are trying their best and the men should also remember that caring for the children is a responsibility of both parents,” she added.
She called upon the Local Leaders and the media to sensitize the communities to change their attitudes regarding food security and feeding their children. “We need to put extra effort in mobilizing the people to grow more food to be able to feed their children like it used to be in the past,” she emphasized.
Mrs. Museveni informed the people of Kigezi region that she decided to go on a countrywide campaign for Nutrition and School Feeding after realizing that many children spend the whole day at school without a meal. “How do you expect a hungry child to concentrate and perform well in class and why would parents blame the child and the school for poor performance when they let the child stay hungry at school?” she asked.
“I therefore request all Local Governments, Cultural and Religious leaders, Mothers Union and Catholic Women and all leaders in their respective capacities to join us in this campaign and mobilize their communities for this cause. I leave this campaign with you leaders and we shall all take the pride in its success,” she said.
The Education Minister said they are committed to constructing primary schools in the Parishes that still don’t have any and a secondary school in each sub county without any. “Everything shall get better and better as time goes on,” she assured the people of Kigezi.
She also requested the Media to help sensitize the parents and the communities to stop letting their children leave home for school as early as 5am because it is unnecessary since the schools’ official opening hour is at 8am.
Together with the First Lady at the Voice of Kigezi Talkshow was Hon. David Bahati the MP Ndorwa West and Finance State Minister for Planning, the Woman MP Rubanda District Prossy Akampurira Mbabazi, Kabale District LCV Chairman Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the District Education Officer Kenneth Sabiiti and Dr. Kedrace Turyagyenda the Director of Education Standards in the Ministry of Education and Sports who represented the Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza.
The First Lady was also received in Kabale District by the RDC Nandinda Dairus, Deputy RDC Denis Nzeirwe, CAO Tibugyenda Wilson and the Mayor Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha among others. The Kabale leaders pledged to keep the School Feeding campaign fire burning in their region.