NCPB sold us poisonous maize – county
Board denies the claim. Says it hasn’t been told that the corn is unfit for humans
Relief food purchased by the Samburu government for distribution to famine-stricken areas is contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
The 8,000 bags of maize were bought at Sh11.2 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board in October. They were taken to the Maralal depot from Nakuru.
Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal yesterday said maize samples were taken for testing to the government chemist. He spoke to the press after the County Steering Group meeting.
Lenolkulal said the NCPB should be held accountable. “It might have been kept in storage for too long and they knowingly sold it to us,” he said.
The county has already ordered 5,000 fresh bags of maize from Nakuru, which have already been delivered to NCPB storage, the governor said.
The contaminated consignment has been returned to Nakuru, Lenolkulal said. “I am calling on the NCPB to destroy the bad consignment instead of selling it to unsuspecting customers like they did to us,” he added.
But NCPB Maralal deport manager Kipngetich Mutai denied the claims. He said they have not received official communication about the government chemist results.
Mutai said the 8,000 bags purchased by the county government two months ago are still in storage.
“The maize, which is being taken out, has nothing to do with the county government. It is just a normal transfer order. We have also not received an additional 5,000 bags of maize,” he said.
The drought in Samburu is at the red alert stage and the county is now relying on the state to feed residents, Lenolkulal said.
According to the National Drought Management Authority, more than 54,000 residents from Samburu East and North face severe hunger with the number increasing by the day.
The number shot up drastically after schools closed since most pupils rely on the school feeding programme.
Health executive Mary Ekai said those living with HIV are the most affected as they find it difficult to take ARV medication when hungry.