CSs blame each other for delayed help to drought victims
Three ministries were involved in a blame game over the ongoing drought in Northeastern and Coast when they appeared before the National Assembly Agriculture Committee.
They, however, agreed there is enough money and food to feed all Kenyans, even as famine takes a heavy toll on residents of several counties.
Agriculture CS Willy Bett (pictured) told MPs he cannot release relief food to drought-stricken areas because Treasury has not released funds. He said the Devolution ministry has not ordered for powdered milk to send to the affected areas as was planned. But Special Programmes PS Josepheta Mukobe said it is the Treasury that has failed to release money for the Devolution ministry to buy food for the 1.3 million Kenyans adversely affected by drought.
National Treasury PS Kamau Thugge said there is enough money to resolve the problem and people should not panic. Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said Treasury last released Sh250 million in September, even as he downplayed the negative effect of the drought.
“There is enough food in the store for distribution and the drought situation is not out of hand. The ministry has not received any report of a Kenyan who has died due to drought,” he said, adding the government will gazette the village committees established to lead food distribution.
Bett said there is enough food in the country for all Kenyans and the government expects 34 million bags of maize in harvests during the long rains and 7 million bags during the short rains.