- Residents asked for relief food to address the current famine situation.
- They also want insurance plan for their dying animals.
Residents of Samburu on Wednesday presented a list of demands to Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga ahead of the August 9 contest.
Led by former Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe, the residents called for Raila’s intervention to mitigate against the famine ravaging the area, even as they drummed up support for his candidature.
Top on their list is the supply of water and ending insecurity if Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance forms the next government.
To mitigate against losses incurred as a result of low pasture in the grazing fields, the residents also called for a rollout of livestock insurance plan for their dying animals.
Lesiyampe is seeking to succeed outgoing Governor Moses Lenolkulal in upcoming polls.
The former PS told the ODM boss of an urgent need of relief food to avert the suffering of thousands of residents who are facing acute starvation.
“I have come here to plead with Raila to take our request to President Uhuru Kenyatta. We have been hit by serious drought. We, therefore, ask you to tell the President to send us relief food to sustain our people until the next rains,” Lesiyampe said.
“We appreciate the fact that you pushed hard so that we have Samburu county. Now we are asking for tarmacking of a good number of our roads to make transportation easy.”
Samburu Woman Representative Maison Leshoomo urged the residents to vote for Raila, saying the Azimio manifesto has addressed some of the challenges which have contributed to the marginalisation of the area.
“We have big problems in Samburu and we will put them in writing so that our people get help,” she said.
Raila, who was making a return to Samburu county to consolidate his support base in the region, promised to address all problems facing the pastoralists in his government.
He addressed rallies at Baragoi and Wamba where he urged the residents to vote for him.
“This will be the last time the area is facing famine. I will call the President so that you get relief food latest next week,” Raila said.
He also committed to rollout special insurance scheme for the pastoralists, promising to implement his social protection programme to cushion vulnerable families with no steady source of income.
The former premier said he will seal all the corruption loopholes and generate sufficient cash for the rollout of the Sh6,000 social protection fund.
Raila was accompanied by Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja).
Dismissing DP William Ruto’s bottom-up economics, Atwoli said there is no country that has ever revived its economy from the bottom, terming the narrative hot air.
Raila also drummed up support for Azimio candidates, telling the residents to vote only coalition candidates.
(edited by Amol Awuor)