Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Starvation in Pwani University

Starvation in Pwani University is an urgent situation whose occurrence is causing comrades suffering and it imminently threatens the lives of its students. In the wake of starvation of late February and March in the university, many leaders and aspiring leaders proposed commitments to food security.

The humanitarian responses to general food insecurities as a result of an array of causes ranging from low purchasing power, low income levels among others is what over 35% of the Pwani comrades were yearning for and are still yearning for it.

Pwani University
Pwani University photo by Odaka Fedinand

The former Pwani University Students Association, PUSA government, led by Mr. Athman Hassan, gave out an internal memo on 10/03/2021 recognizing that comrades required immediate assistance as far as food security was concerned. In our interview with that former government, on 10/03/2021 in their offices they also confirmed the same. They agreed that “The Inua Comrade Initiative,” was there and was to help most needy students in the varsity, though they lacked enough funds to initiate and run the program most effectively hence asking for more support from the state citizens.

The Comrade For Comrade Initiative and the Inua Comrade Initiative

The wellbeing condition has not changed and many comrades are challenged as most of them depend on HELB loans for survival and they have to split the amount to cater for fees, meals, upkeep among other expenses. The current PUSA president, Hon. Hirram Kipchumba Kemei to a Boss Tv journalist on 5th October, 2021 reported that the Pwani comrades are starving and they need help from the external sources. Together with the Finance Secretary they affirmed that despite the administration subsidizing the prices of meals in the school dining hall, many students are still struggling to ‘survive’.

The PUSA leaders have a flour donation program expected to be launched in October. “The flour program will help those starving and needy students access something to put in the stomach. We have plans of distributing flour on a monthly basis. We have reached out to many people and most of them are willing to support us fund the program. We’ve talked to Mombasa Cement, AJAB Flour Company, Kilifi North MP, Hon Owen Baya, Malindi MP, Hon Aisha Jumwa, Kilifi South MP, Hon Ken, Kibarani Ward MCA and they are all ready to support us. We humbly request and welcome any well wishers to support the program” the PUSA president requested.

They also advised comrades to engage in small activities that can earn them a living. We view a majority of students who stay on campus are mainly taking full-time classes, thus seeking part-time jobs to supplement their income is a challenge, Despite the institution’s efforts to avail canteens and Dining hall that sell meals with subsidized charges, the monetary benefits do not last all semester. Their engagement in Business activities will leave the lecture halls empty and or with few comrades attending those lectures

Comrades’ academic success is lay to their overall wellbeing. While in the university, they learn not only academic material but also social skills, knowledge about their health and other essential life skills. In fact, they gain more control of their futures when they are able to succeed in the university, but there are certain factors hindering their ability to learn and today food insecurity is one of these major factors hindering learning ability of Pwani comrades.

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