The government has enough food to feed those affected by drought, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has said.
Speaking when he flagged off trucks carrying relief food from Lodwar to areas affected by drought, Wamalwa said the country’s strategic reserves had almost 4 million bags of maize which he said was enough to feed those affected by drought.
However, Wamalwa blamed poor coordination in the distribution of the relief food to relieve hunger that is being experienced in arid and semi-arid areas.
“We are assuring the people of Turkana and other affected counties that we have enough food. What we need is to collaborate between the national and the county governments to ensure distribution is done effectively and food rations reach the affected people,” said Wamalwa who was accompanied by his Petroleum counterpart John Munyes.
He flagged off trucks carrying 7,000 (90 kg) bags of maize and beans which will be distributed in Turkana Central, Turkana West, Turkana South and Turkana North sub counties.
According to the CS, Turkana West is the most affected area.
The county government says 805,000 people are affected by drought and are in need of relief food.
Governor Josphat Nanok on Thursday said the county had distributed relief food to 576,000 people since February 28, this year which represents 70 percent of the affected population.
Meanwhile, 30,000 pastoralists have migrated to neighboring Uganda in search of water and pasture which has triggered conflicts between the communities living in the area.
Munyes now wants both national and county governments to step up efforts to address the pasture related conflicts along the borders.
“I am advising the government to step up efforts to ensure there is peace along the borders so that the livestock from areas affected by drought do not cause conflicts,” said Munyes.
In response, Wamalwa said the national and county leadership will next week head to Uganda for a peace meeting as part of cross border peace efforts.
“We don’t wish to see our pastoralists being attacked as they look after their livestock. This will require a lot of cooperation between the communities living in these areas,” said the CS.
Wamalwa maintained that the government is still committed to achieving food security saying it was the most critical part of the big four agenda.
He said relief food distribution was not sustainable adding that construction of dams, development of water and irrigation infrastructure was the way to go.
“In future we want to change from relief food distribution to building resilience of the communities,” he said.
By Peter Gitonga