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Leaders urge gov’t to declare drought national disaster

Members of the Kitui county assembly have asked the government to declare the prevailing drought situation in parts of the country a national disaster.

Speaking in Mombasa after a church service at the AIC Tudor, Kitui county assembly speaker Kelvin Katisya has said despite the government intervention to avail relief food to drought stricken regions, more stringent measures are needed to cushion lives.

Last week, President William Ruto flagged off relief food targeting about 3.5 million affected Kenyans in 23 counties across the country.

“There is hunger almost everywhere and as Kitui County we have planned that when we resume sittings we will prioritize things that affect our people including the drought dire situation,” said Katisya.

Consequently, the 57 assembly members have vowed to prioritize passing of supplementary budget courtesy of the county executive in order to deal with the biting drought and water challenges bedeviling the county.

“We have decided to work together with our governor irrespective of our political party affiliations, we have also pledged to work with the president to ensure his bottom-up economic model serves its purpose,” said Katisya.

The members, who were attending a one-week induction training in Mombasa ahead of their first assembly sitting Tuesday, lamented that area residents have continued to face hunger, therefore urgent measures are needed to remedy the situation.

They said the area is facing acute shortage of water and drought in parts of the expansive Kitui County.

Katisya said the county will unanimously embrace the government of the day so that their people can get the desired development.

“When an MP works for two terms they get pension, when an MCA works for two terms he/she gets nothing, we want to push for some of the benefits that will ensure that ward representatives deliver services to the people without being compromised,” he added.

Tharaka MCA Godfrey Muthengi said the assembly is seeking to provide a solution based leadership by ensuring prudent use of county public resources as well as keeping the executive in check.

“We will ensure that Kitui people get the deserved development and we call upon our people to have trust in us, as we embark on the journey to oversight and also ensure a people centered government,” he said.

Muthengi said the induction workshop will provide insights to the newly elected members to understand their roles as well as standard procedures of the assembly.

“As MCAs we ask the president to declare the current drought a national disaster so that everyone in this country can get relief food, we are also asking our governor to come up with a supplementary budget that will to help people acquire planting seeds at the onset of the anticipated rainfall,” said Muthengi.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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