Kakamega governor Fernandes Barasa ordered the destruction of cereals at the Mukumu Girls’ school as the health crisis at the institution deepened.
With three students and a teacher succumbing to diarrhoea complications in the past week, Barasa declared the grain unfit for consumption and directed that maize, beans and rice in the grains stores be burnt forthwith.
Asked whether the grains samples submitted to the government chemist had tested for toxicity to warrant such action, Barasa said he was acting on preliminary findings that showed food and water at the school were contaminated
“Effective today I order the destruction of all rice maize and beans in the store. Also, I’m directing the draining, cleaning and chlorination of the water storage facilities in the school,” Barasa said while addressing the press on Friday evening.
The governor was silent on why grains that are yet to be condemned by any legal certifying agency should be destroyed and under what environment.
In response to public concerns that a cover-up was at play, Barasa said all measures are to safeguard the interest of the students.
A total of 17 girls are still fighting for life at various hospitals across the country including five still admitted at Kakamega general hospital. One student was airlifted to Kenyatta university hospital.
The governor was unequivocal on action to be taken against those found culpable by omission or commission along the food supply chain at the school.
The governor’s brief on the school came shortly after the scheduled pressor on the subject which Cabinet Secretary for health devices Susan Nakhumicha was to address in Nairobi.
The health crisis has split the Catholic church sunder with Kakamega senator Dr. Boni Khalwale and Bishop Rev. Joseph Obanyi pulling in different directions over whether to retain the current principal Fridah Ndolo and the Board of Management (MoM) or disband it.
This after Education principal secretary Dr Belio Kipsang promised to crack the whip on negligence.
Khalwake has asked parents to boycott sending students back to school under the current situation.
Bishop Obanyi in a statement last week was categorical that any changes in ‘our school’ was an unwelcome teeming accusation against the school administration was political.
So far government’s promise to oversee a turnaround of the school water infrastructure, kitchen, dining, grain stores and to expand the boarding section remain just that – a promise.