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Nobody will die of hunger, says the government spokesman

The government has reiterated that nobody will die of hunger or lack of water in 23 counties affected by drought in the country.
Government Spokesman Colonel Retired Cyrus Oguna said the government has set aside Sh 5.5 billion to purchase relief food besides trucking water to the 2.6 million drought affected people spread across the affected counties.
He disclosed that 600,023 children faced malnutrition nationwide out of which 250,000 are the worst hit. He however pointed out that the government has spent over Sh. 200 million to purchase supplements for these young children.
While saying 69,000 breastfeeding mothers were also affected, the government spokesman singled out Turkana, Baringo, Marsabit and Wajir as the counties hardest hit by malnutrition.
Other counties that have suffered drought for the last two years are Garissa, Mandera, Tharaka Nithi, Kitui, Isiolo, Makueni and Embu.
“Between January and September, the government has spent Sh 3.5 billion to purchase 147,224 bags of maize, 92,320 bags of rice, 99,060 bags of beans and 23,715 cartons of cooking oil. Also part of the money has been used to truck water to affected people across the country,” said Colonel Oguna while addressing the media at Unyeo Village in Mbooni East Sub-county on Thursday.
He further said that the government will give Sh 296 million to livestock farmers to purchase hay for their livestock that were equally affected by the prolonged drought.
However, Oguna appealed to residents of the affected areas with many heads of cattle to sell some to prevent them from dying and restock once rains set in.
Oguna said the construction of Thwake dam was progressing well adding it was a game changer in the counties of Makueni, Kitui and Machakos.
He said that besides creating jobs for the unemployed youths, the project will provide water to over 1.3 million people besides generating 20 Kilowatts of electricity once it comes into completion in 2022.
He said the government has spent Sh 3.5 billion to compensate Persons Affected by the Project (PAPs) adding only 22 families are yet to receive their dues due to succession and other family disputes.
“The government has done its part and has given money to National Land Commission, it is now upon them to resolve their family disputes so that they can take the money and put it into proper use to improve their livelihood,” said Oguna.
By Patrick Nyakundi

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