CSs blame each other for de­layed help to drought vic­tims

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Parliament -

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.

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