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Prepare for hard times ahead, warns MP

Bondo MP Dr. Gideon Ochanda has warned his constituents to brace themselves for hard times in the next few months saying the spread of coronavirus is likely to lead to a lockdown of the entire country.
Ochanda said that global trends indicate that many countries have been forced into lockdowns because of rising new infection of the deadly virus and Kenya may soon find itself in similar position if the cases of new infection continue to rise.
The legislator observed that the impending mass testing across the country may reveal more confirmed cases especially in rural counties like Siaya where Bondo sub couty is located forcing the government to consider a total lockdown.
So far Siaya County has had 2 confirmed coronavirus cases with hundreds more quarantined for coming into contact with the primary suspects. The national tally has since risen to 246 confirmed cases, slightly over a month after the first case was confirmed in the country.
Speaking during a stakeholder meeting in Bondo that was called to deliberate ways of cushion residents against loss of live hoods occasioned by the spread of Coronavirus Saturday, Ochanda said residents of Bondo must now guard their food stores in anticipation of hard times ahead.
He stated that whereas there may be food donations from the national and the county governments, not all households may be reached and therefore the best bet is to ensure that constituents have stocks that can last them for at least 30 days.
Ochanda disclosed that his office will also divert food earmarked for school feeding program in both the primary and secondary schools in the constituency to help feed vulnerable households during the difficult times.
“We do not know when schools will re-open yet we already have food we had bought for the school feeding program. Some schools had already collected theirs so we will not be asking them to return the bags of maize, rice and beans, but for the majority of schools yet to collect their shares, the food will be diverted to feed the most vulnerable in case we experience a crisis,” Ochanda stated.
On the other hand, he asked his constituents to actively play their role in combating the spread of the virus and avoiding more fatalities by adhering to government’s directives on hand washing, social distancing, staying home and use of face masks.
“We have keenly observed that some people have taken these directives lightly and are going on with their lives normally not knowing that they are not only putting themselves at risk, but also putting the rest of the country at risk, such people living in our communities must be compelled to change their behavior,” the legislator said.
The meeting was also attended by the county executive for Trade and Industrialization Jaoko Oburu, County Commissioner Tom Macheneri, police commandant Anthony Wafula together with a host of local MCAs who appealed to well-wishers to donate food and other items to vulnerable households.
By Brian Odeng’

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