Asal leaders ask for increased relief food

Alvin Mwangi

Leaders from the Arid and Semi- Arid Asal counties want the government to increase relief food to hunger-stricken counties arguing that the food currently being disbursed cannot address the dire condition.

Speaking at a Nairobi hotel, Wajir West MP Adan Keynan said the government has ignored calls to disburse more money that will go towards drought preparedness and response.

His sentiments were echoed by Dadaad MP Mohamed Dahir who faulted the government for dragging its feet in addressing the issue.

“ The international community must step up support to enable the humanitarian community work alongside the government to scale up life-saving interventions and ensure the situation does not deteriorate further,” he said.

The two leaders also differed with the government which had earlier said the number of people being affected could be 1.2 million saying the number is about two million.

They said Garissa and  Marsabit counties are some of the most affected counties in the region.

Keynan called on the government to come up with contingency measures to sustainably avert the crisis.

“ For how long is the government going to provide relief food? It needs to take long-term measures to deal with famine once and for all,” he said.

Dahir proposed that the government invest in irrigation schemes.

Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the government has instituted a raft of measures to ensure those affected receive relief food and water even as he promised that the government was looking for long term solutions to perennial famine.

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