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Gov’t is ready to deal with hunger issues in the country-PS Marwa

The Government has assured that no candidate will drop out of School nor miss their examination due to lack of food in the country.

This comes as the drought situation in the country continues to bite following failure of four consecutive rain seasons.

The Principal Secretary for Social Protection, Nelson Marwa has called on the Governors and County Commissioners to give priority to schools while distributing the food so that they do not drop out of Schools especially during this time they are approaching to sit their National exams.

“The government is ready to deal with hunger issues in the country, there is already a projected programmee to deal with hunger even if it is for a long term,” said the PS adding that the relief food is fresh and safe for human consumption.

Marwa noted that around 29 counties affected by hunger have already received food in ongoing relief food distribution consisting of beans, rice and corned meat.

Speaking while briefing the media on food distribution at the Industrial Area (National Cereal and Produce Board) NCPB depot, Marwa assured Kenyans that the food is well accounted for noting that it shall not be kept in the stores while people are suffering.

Marwa confirmed that 80 military trucks were released from the depot to distribute the relief food adding that all the food is accounted for and urged Kenyans to send him a small message on 0722824839 if they found anybody with an aim of stealing the food.

“I assure you, this food is accounted for, not even a kilogramme will get lost because the government is monitoring every step until it reaches its destination,” said Marwa warning that anyone found diverting the relief food shall be held accountable.

In terms of statistics, Marwa said the National Drought and Management Authority shall be releasing the latest report on drought situation in the country and urged Kenyans to wait for the report.

Approximately, Marwa said, 50 to 100 trucks of the food are released every day to ensure that no Kenyan dies of hunger.

According to the National Drought and Management Authority drought status report of September 28, 2022, 10 counties including Isiolo, Mandera, Samburu, Kajiado, Tharaka Nithi, Turkana, Wajir, Laikipia, Tana River and Marsabit are in the alarm phase.

Another 10 counties – Embu, Garissa, Kitui, Makueni, Meru, Narok, Nyeri, Taita Taveta, Kwale and Kilifi – are in the ALERT phase with only Baringo, West Pokot and Lamu being in the NORMAL drought phase.

On September 26, 2022 President William Ruto flagged off 20,000 bags of rice, 24,716 bags of beans and 7,500 cartons of corned beef for distribution to Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Baringo, Garissa, Turkana, Kajiado, Samburu and West Pokot. Each sub-county in the 10 Counties has been allocated 200 bags of rice, 360 bags of beans and 100 cartons of corned beef.

As of October 7, 2022, 12,150 bags of rice, 19,150 bags of beans and 3,880 cartons of corned beef had been dispatched to various sub-counties in the affected counties.

The relief food is being delivered to the respective Deputy County Commissioners who will collaborate with County Steering Groups for identification and distribution of the relief food to the affected populations in the last mile points.

The Government has purchased Sh900 million worth of additional relief food – 66,834 bags of rice, 88,456 bags of beans and 2500 cartons of corned beef distribution to the remaining of the 23 ASAL counties and the additional six counties.

The budget for the response plan for the next one year is approximately Sh69.21 billion, comprising the budget for October 2022 – January 2023 which is 18.07 billion and February – September 2023 being 51.14 billion.

By Catherine Muindi

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