SHALLA, West Arsi- THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD Newspaper 8 May 2016: Abdo Geda, a farmer in Nago-Saboqa village of Shalla district in West Arsi Zone of the Oromia State. Along with his fellow neighbors he is suffering from the current El Nino-induced effects. Last year, farmer Abdo’s harvest was poor because of the drought.
His children were forced to drop their school. Thanks to the school feeding program his children are attending their classes attentively. Farmer Abdo told the visiting the Ethiopian Press Agency journalists that the school feeding program has helped children in the vicinity to come back to their studies.
He said: “ I had nothing to feed my children. But, thanks to the government school feeding program launched in our locality, my kids are attending schools without any problem.” Nuri Abate, a third grade student from the Oda Borana Junior Primary School has also said that the classrooms had not students as it were before the drought.
“ Many of my friends were left for Shashemene town because of the drought. Immediately, when the feeding program launched they back to school. And the classes are full now. We are attending schools very attentively ” he said.
Another student, Nagawo Mohammed said that right after the school feeding program started, we began to learn actively. Because of the drought, my friends and I were in other place to search of daily bread. Thanks to the feeding program we have no reason to go other places.”
Oda Borana Junior Primary School Principal Gemechu Hussein on his part said that the school feeding program enables students to attend class near by home as usual. He said that the program has contributed significantly to prevent school drop out.
Shalla District Communication Head Feyisa Diro said that the program was launched in schools found in eight villages that are drought hard-hit areas. The second round of the feeding program that benefit over 22,409 students from 38 schools would be launched this month, according to the head.
BY HAFTU GEBREZGABIHER