Food prices stabilise but drought continues
The drought situation continues in our project area, although heavy rain in recent days has brought some immediate relief after many months without significant rainfall. We have been continuing to deliver bowsers of clean water for drinking and cooking to schools where it is needed and our lunch programme remains a vital lifeline for the majority of the 2,750 children that we feed each day. Thankfully, food prices have stabilised in the last couple of months, having climbed by up to 60% since May last year. We have now delivered the final batch of food which will see each school through to the end of this final term of the year.
The future is bright
All seven of our partner schools are now benefitting from a permanent electricity supply after connection to the mains supply at Kisimenyi Primary was finally made possible by the recent extension of grid power lines close to the school. In each of our partner schools, we have equipped at least the staffroom and offices with power.
Planning begins for school number 8
We have begun planning for the redevelopment of our proposed eight partner school at Mkamenyi Primary. The scale of the challenge at Mkamenyi is immense – buildings without windows and doors, children sitting on bare classroom floors, and a chronic lack of food and water – but we are determined to use our experience and expertise to solve these problems and to create a better today and tomorrow for the many hundreds of children at the school. However we don’t anticipate being in a position to start work much before the end of 2018 or early 2019.
No excuses now at Ngambenyi
Although the paint at Ngambenyi Primary is long ago dry, our work at the school is far from over. In addition to the two teacher salaries and, of course, the lunch programme that we now fund, in recent months we have also been working to equip the school with educational resources. Earlier in the year we supplied 450 textbooks at a ratio of one per pupil and now, to complement those, we have supplied a further 450 supplementary books (including revision guides, workbooks and dictionaries) as well as 900 reading books in both English and Swahili. Remarkably, we have been able to supply all these books for less than £5,000.
“Ngambenyi Primary is now equipped to shine academically as well as physically.”
(Duncan Mkunu, headteacher)
Although our building programme has been relatively quiet of late due to a lack of funds we have still managed to complete a number of projects including: our second staff house, which will accommodate 8-10 teachers at Kisimenyi Primary; a new kitchen at Makwasinyi Primary, which now provides a significantly enhanced working environment for the cooks in which to produce lunch for the schools 400 pupils; and a new block of toilets and a washroom for the boys at Bungule Primary to replace some which collapsed earlier in the year.