Kadaga raps leaders over malnutrition in schools

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has asked leaders to step up efforts in combating malnutrition in schools.
Kadaga was presiding at a workshop on Parliamentary Alliances and Legal Assessment of food and nutrition security in Uganda, Monday, 23 July 2018 at Parliament.
“We need a Minister in charge of public health specifically to handle these [nutrition] issues…what are the teachers, the Local Council leaders, the MPs doing?” she said.
“Let us have school gardens with all these different fruits that these children can eat,” said Kadaga. She urged MPs to open model farms in villages to guide farmers on nutritious foods that children need.
She asked MPs to bring a Private Member’s Bill to address issues of food safety and nutrition, saying the Agriculture Ministry is “sleeping and has only brought one Bill” since the 10th Parliament started.
Kadaga lashed out at the Agriculture Ministry, saying there is no evidence to support claims that agriculture forms the backbone of Uganda’s economy.
“We say that agriculture is the backbone of our country but when we are driving around this country, we don’t see that,” she said.
The Speaker re-echoed her communication to MPs during the State of the Nation address saying Parliament business would take on a themed approach.
The first sitting covers legislation, with the Speaker saying the MPs could as well pass the nutrition law in record time if they “polish and bring it up”.
MP Abbas Agaba (NRM, Kitagwenda), also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum on Food Security and Nutrition, criticised local authorities for the influx of adulterated food on the market.
“After spraying crops, some of the chemicals are absorbed in foods. When the meat leaves the abattoir, butchers apply formalin on it. Who is responsible?” asked Agaba.
He said the Private Members Bill they are sponsoring would propose the creation of an Authority to specifically monitor nutrition and food safety issues in the country.
Agaba said the workshop intends to “articulate issues regarding food security and to develop a communication strategy to address matters of food security.”
Simon Blondeau, an international specialist on Right to Food Laws and Policies with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN), asked MPs to eliminate malnutrition.
“Parliament should work to make malnutrition and food security part of the legislative agenda in Africa,” said Blondeau.
To this end, FAO, he said, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Pan African Parliament to synchronise legislation against hunger and malnutrition in the continent.