- Ruto said Monday he has already instructed the Treasury to make resources available towards addressing the life-threatening crisis.
- Counties, he said, will be required to slow down on their development projects and instead divert its resources and energy towards the program.
President William Ruto on Monday warned government officials against selling or stealing relief food meant for the starving Kenyans.
The President said the state will work with non-governmental agencies and leaders to ensure food and water reaches most needy Kenyans.
Speaking at State House Nairobi, Ruto said the government has mobilised resources in collaboration with development partners to distribute food items to vulnerable people.
He said some 3.5 million Kenyans are at risk of starving following acute drought ravaging parts of Northern Kenya and across the country.
“The next consignment will be on Friday and on a weekly basis we will assess the situation and see what this intervention will mean to the people and the way forward,” he said.
He went on, "It is my hope that this is the last time we are having this ceremony."
The government has rolled out massive and elaborate strategies that will see crucial interventions made to help alleviate the biting hunger currently in 23 counties.
In the plan that will see counties and state agencies pull together resources, President Ruto said he has already instructed the Treasury to make resources available towards addressing the life-threatening crisis.
To ensure no Kenyan dies of hunger, Ruto also announced he has prevailed upon the counties to slow down on their development projects and instead divert its energy towards the programme.
He spoke when he flagged off 50 trucks carrying 40,000 bags of beans and rice and assorted animal feeds and cooking fat at State House, Nairobi.
“I have agreed with the ministries concerned and I have also asked the Treasury to make resources available so that the next tranche will be on Friday,” he said.
The head of state said the counties will be required to make provisions in their budgets for the drought situation such that resources are channeled towards mitigating it.
Weekly meeting to assess the situation, he noted, will be done “to see what these interventions will weigh to the people around the country and what additionally can be done as we go into the future.”
He said, “The brief that we have is that many people are suffering because they do not have food, water and many livelihoods are being lost including livestock.”
“We now have a plan of action to build on what existed before so that we can efficiently and expeditiously deal with the effects of drought in various parts of the country,” he said.
Ruto further disclosed that he will be holding a meeting with development partners on Wednesday to harmonise approach and avoid duplication in any part of the country while leveraging on county teams assisting in identification of beneficiaries.
Those present during the event were representatives from private sector that included Safaricom, World food program among others.
To ensure the relief food is not in any way diverted or stolen as has been the case, Ruto said distribution will be done in partnership with the development partners.
The President also said he has instructed the Ministry of Water to make water boozers available so that the commodity is supplied to hard hit areas.
“Under the direction of the deputy president Rigathi Gachagua, the ministry and the governors in the particular counties will map out the areas that will require urgent need of water to be supplied,” Ruto said.
The government, he noted, will also be working with Kenya Meat Commission to have an off take of animals that are facing starvation due lack of pastures.
Gachagua who had earlier held a meeting with governors from counties affected said county commissioners will not be overseeing the distribution of relief food alone but in collaboration with other relevant partners.
Those present were Cabinet secretaries Margaret Kobia (special programmes), James Macharia (Infrastructure), Ukur Yatani (Treasury) and Council of Governors chairperson Anne Waiguru among other governors.
-Edited by SKanyara