At least 50,000 vulnerable households in Kilifi County are set to start receiving food rations in a move to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the coastal county.
The food was donated to the Kilifi County Government by various organizations last week to support the vulnerable following stringent containment measures taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the coastal county.
Kilifi, which had 10 confirmed Covid-19 cases by Sunday, is among three coastal counties that have been declared Coronavirus hotspots and a cessation of movement of persons in and outside the county imposed. The others are Mombasa and Kwale.
The Kilifi County Government has also closed down a number of companies and businesses, thus rendering hundreds of locals jobless.
County Chief Officer for Devolution, Mr. Adan Mohamed, who is in charge of the relief and household support programme, told journalists on Sunday that the food donations were being repackaged in hampers which would be dropped at beneficiaries’ door steps.
Those set to benefit include persons with disabilities, elderly persons, widows and orphans who were identified by county officials to have lost their livelihoods after the county and national governments closed a number of businesses to stop the spread of the disease.
“From our data we have 50,000 households that are directly affected and they will start getting their share immediately. Not every resident will get food unless we slide into a lockdown where everyone will be vulnerable,” he said.
Among the organizations that gave their donations at the Kilifi Cereals Board depot in Kilifi was China Communications Construction Company limited which donated nine tons of maize flour on Friday.
The company, through its manager Neo Ching said it will be increasing the donations as the effects of the pandemic continue to increase.
Other organizations that have donated foodstuffs to the Kilifi county government include Mombasa Cement and the Kenya Commercial Bank.
The chief officer said the Kilifi County Government had designated three relief collection centres in Kilifi, Malindi and Mtwapa town.
The one in Kilifi will serve residents of Kilifi North and Ganze Sub Counties, the one in Mtwapa will serve residents of Kilifi South, Rabai and Kaloleni Sub Counties while the one in Malindi will serve residents of Malindi and Magarini Sub Counties.
Governor Amason Kingi earlier thanked the donors and volunteers and assured residents that no one would die of hunger despite the Covid-19 threat.
“The first round of food distribution, which will benefit over 50,000 vulnerable households across the County, is now set to kick off and I wish to thank everyone taking part in this noble exercise; volunteers, donors and well-wishers,” he said last week.
By Emmanuel Masha