No one has died from drought - Ruto

Problem is distribution of food, DP says

In Summary

• He says anyone found spreading falsehoods on drought  will be prosecuted


DP William Ruto
DENIAL: DP William Ruto
Image: FILE

Deputy President William Ruto has said there is enough food to feed everyone in the country.

Ruto said the only difficulty the government faces is distribution of the food.

He rubbished reports that there are deaths caused by hunger due to the current drought.

“There is a lot of fake news around what is happening in Kenya. For example, we were told the other day that 11 people have died because of drought. That is not true,” said Ruto.

News reports have indicated at least 10 people have died of hunger in Baringo county.

Residents have called on the government to send them relief food .

But Ruto said: “We do not have a food deficient situation. We have sufficient food in the country. The challenge is distribution.”

He spoke during the opening of the first ever national inter-professional summit that brought together lawyers, human resource personnel, accountants, secretaries and suppliers.

Anyone found spreading falsehoods on drought in the country will be prosecuted, the DP said.

Ruto said the government will not take lightly those who spread fear among Kenyans.

“The chief and the other fellow who actually faked death, we have taken them in. They are people who are taking a very serious matter involving human lives and playing around with it.” 

Ruto said the government is working hard to ensure that those starving get  food and that the drought is addressed for the long term.

Only 16 per cent of the land in Kenya is arable while the other 84 per cent is arid and semi-arid.

“Therefore we are generally a water-stressed country,” the DP said.

He said the national government is working with county governments and other agencies to distribute food.

Ruot criticised the debate on Kimwarer and Aror dams in Elgeyo Marakwet county where Sh21 billion is alleged to have been lost.

The DP insisted no money has been lost, saying dam construction is the long-term solution to the drought the country faces perennially.

He said it is ironical that while Kenyans face starvation due to the drought, others are politicising dam construction.

“We have a contradiction. We are busy quarrelling about dams yet we have a drought,” Ruto said.

He said the Jubilee administration undertook to construct 57 dams to alleviate drought by storing enough water.

Many of the dams in Kenya were built over 30 years ago and can no longer help mitigate drought, he said.