Students in youth polytechnics opened school in January 2017 for the first term session. It has been dry in most parts of the country just as in last year since the short rains expected in December never came. All youth polytechnics are in the process of preparing their school gardens in readiness of planting in March when the long rains are expected. Irrigating school gardens was not sustainable since the youth polytechnics did not have reliable sources of water to sustain them during the long dry spell. Although some had successfully installed water harvesting structures in their schools, it did not sustain them for long as the rain was not enough and they did not harvest enough water to keep them going. The other challenge was inadequate water storage facilities in some schools. Some schools are still fundraising for sustainable sources of water for their schools as well as approaching different government institutions to help them solve the issues. Students are still optimistic and they are busy preparing their school gardens as well as sourcing suitable seeds for planting during the long rains expected in March and April. We will support some of them with drought resistance seeds and planting materials to plant during the long rains. Some youth polytechnics were able to do little seed saving during the last harvesting season therefore they have some seeds although they will require more. We are happy that they have not given up despite the challenge of prolonged drought. We continue encouraging them and supporting them in various possible way. We also call upon other well-wishers to support them.
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