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Lobby feeds starving Karuturi school candidates

Some women in Naivasha have offered to provide Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam candidates at a local school with food. Sher Moi Primary School, owned by the closed Karuturi flower farm, has been neglected, with pupils going for days without food. The pupils parents, who are among the more than 3,000 Karuturi workers, are living in deplorable conditions after the company’s closure.

Under the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake organisation, the women have mobilised resources to buy foodstuff and cook for the 170 candidates during the exam period. Led by area chairperson Milka Nguno, the women said they made the decision after learning of the candidates’ plight, which if not addressed would affect their performance negatively.

She said the school was the only source of hope for children of thousands of workers, not only from Karuturi but also neighbouring flower farms. “We will be here for the three days they will be doing their exams,” said Nguno, who urged all stakeholders to come to the school’s rescue to ensue it regains it lost glory.

“The company used to support the school but since it went under, majority of the students have been suffering because their parents can hardly afford a meal,” she added. The move came as the provincial administration began distributing foodstuff and other aid to workers of the troubled farm after their houses were flooded following heavy rainfalls.

The giant flower company turned into a battlefield of strikes, and court cases – mostly involving creditors, culminating into the receivership in 2014 and liquidation orders later.

Naivasha deputy county commissioner Isaac Masinde said the government will address the workers’ woes. The food aid comes barely a day after a mother of four committed suicide due to frustrations related to the company’s closure.

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