FAMINE

Don't divert relief food, Garissa officials warned

Food expected to benefit 3.5 million Kenyans affected by the drought that has ravaged 23 counties

In Summary
  • The administrator further cautioned those handling the relief food to make sure it gets to the intended persons.
  • In Garissa which remains on the alert phase, a total of 336,000 people have been affected translating to  56,000 households.
Garissa county commissioner Boaz Cherutuch speaking to the press at the Garissa cereals store after witnessing offloading of the relief food on Saturday.
Garissa county commissioner Boaz Cherutuch speaking to the press at the Garissa cereals store after witnessing offloading of the relief food on Saturday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Stern action will be taken against anyone found diverting relief food meant for drought victims, Garissa county commissioner Boaz Cherutich has said.

Speaking to the press at the Garissa cereals store on Saturday after witnessing offloading of the consignment, the administrator further cautioned those handling the relief food to make sure it gets to the intended persons.

The food is part of the consignment that was flagged off by President William Ruto Monday to famine-stricken families.

Speaking during the flagging off at State House Nairobi, Ruto said the relief food will benefit 3.5 million Kenyans affected by the drought that has ravaged 23 counties across the country.

Casual laborers busy offloading relief food from tracks to store them at the Garissa cereals board store
Casual laborers busy offloading relief food from tracks to store them at the Garissa cereals board store
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

In Garissa which remains in the alert phase, a total of 336,000 people have been affected translating to 56,000 households.

All the 10 subcounties will receive 2,000 bags of rice, 3,600 50kgs  bags of beans and 1,000 bags of coned beef.

Flanked by members of the county steering committee who comprised of members from the county government, World Food Programme, the National Drought Management Authority, Kenya Red Cross and other players, Cherutich said the government was serious with the exercise.

“We have instructed all the subcounty steering committee to ensure this food is distributed only to deserving Kenyans who are from the vulnerable households. All chiefs should ensure no food is diverted elsewhere. Our village elders should also be on standby,” he said.

He added, “We are keen and will be monitoring the whole exercise closely any issue that will be reported related to diversion of food will be dealt with firmly.”

Garissa county NDMA coordinator Abdinoor Dubow speaking to the press. He said animals feeds will start arriving in the next two weeks.
Garissa county NDMA coordinator Abdinoor Dubow speaking to the press. He said animals feeds will start arriving in the next two weeks.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The administrator who disclosed that NDMA has already done the mapping and they have the names, however appealed to the local elders in the villages to help in monitoring the exercise and report  any deserving individuals that might have been left out so that they can also be assisted.

He thanked the KDF and the WFP whom he said had supported the transportation of the consignment to various points and logistical support respectively.

He further said the government was working closely with other partners including UNICEF that is the lead agency on the children sector to ensure that those children who have dropped out of school are brought back. He said  the chiefs were under strict instructions to make sure the same is done warning parents who fail to cooperate that stern action will be taken against them.

He further disclosed that in order to ensure the cash transfer programmes which have been running can go on smoothly, they are working closely with other development partners.

Garissa county NDMA coordinator Abdinoor Dubow said the county government continue to meet on a monthly basis to analyse the situation and assessing the drought with a view of ensuring the affected households are reached both for food and non-food items.

Bura East deputy county commissioner Thomas leads the relief food distribution exercise in Warable sub location on Saturday.
Bura East deputy county commissioner Thomas leads the relief food distribution exercise in Warable sub location on Saturday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

“This drought is not different from the episodes of the drought that we had previously only that we were having a bit of consecutive failed rains and seasons for four years and that has a bit of taken away the communities abilities coping mechanism to absorb these shocks,” Dubow said.

He said the NDMA will procure livestock feeds which are expected in the next two weeks.

The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council vice chairman Dubat Amey while commending the government's effort to address the drought, called for the upscaling of the cash transfer programme as well as quick release of the livestock feeds.

 

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