Don’t di­vert and sell re­lief food – Duale

In the past, chiefs have been ac­cused of sell­ing re­lief food or lock­ing it in stor­age

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - STEPHEN ASTARIKO @stephenAs­tariko

Chiefs should not al­low re­lief food meant for res­i­dents to be di­verted and sold, Na­tional Assem­bly ma­jor­ity leader Aden Duale has said.

They will be held re­spon­si­ble for any miss­ing food, he said.

Duale spoke on Sun­day in Nuno, where the na­tional gov­ern­ment will dis­trib­ute wa­ter and re­lief food from this week.

“The gov­ern­ment is try­ing its best to make sure that its ci­ti­zens who have been af­fected by drought get as­sis­tance in time and that no one be­comes a ca­su­alty of the drought. But even as we do this we will not al­low rogue gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to di­vert the foods for their own self­ish gain,” he said.

In the past, ad­min­is­tra­tors have been ac­cused of di­vert­ing re­lief food and sell­ing it, or lock­ing it in stor­age.

Garissa county com­mis­sioner James Kianda said the gov­ern­ment will not let any­one die of hunger. Any ad­min­is­tra­tor found sell­ing re­lief food will be sacked and pros­e­cuted, he said.

Kianda said the seven sub­coun­ties re­quire at least 421 tonnes of re­lief food for the next one month. He said Hu­lugho, Fafi and Ijara are the most af­fected.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Drought Man­age­ment Author­ity, more than 60 per cent of Garissa county res­i­dents are in dire need of re­lief food, even as the drought is ex­pected to worsen.

Coun­try­wide, about 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple face star­va­tion, mainly in North­east­ern and at the Coast.

Ad­dress­ing the press in Garissa town last week, NDMA board chair­per­son Agnes Nde­tei said the na­tional gov­ern­ment and county ad­min­is­tra­tion will en­sure the toll on hu­man suf­fer­ing is min­imised.

She said her team had been car­ry­ing out a need as­sess­ment. All in­di­ca­tions are that the drought is wors­en­ing and ur­gent in­ter­ven­tion mea­sures are re­quired to ad­dress it, Nde­tei said.

“The na­tional gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to end­ing the drought emer­gen­cies by 2022, but now that the cur­rent drought is with us, we have to rapidly move in,” she said.

/STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Na­tional Assem­bly ma­jor­ity leader Aden Duale in Nuno, Balam­bala, on Sun­day

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