, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – The Government will now mobilise transportation by security forces to urgently deliver food supplies to an estimated five million Kenyans affected by drought across the country.
A meeting chaired by President Mwai Kibaki directed that transport from the defence forces, Administration Police and National Youth Service be engaged in the distribution.
The President directed line ministries involved in instituting measures to mitigate effects of the current La Nina phenomenon to act in the best interests of the nation and its citizens.
Speaking at his Harambee House Office when he met with Cabinet Ministers and Permanent Secretaries from the involved ministries, President Kibaki asked them to institute practical measures that will immediately alleviate the suffering of the public in drought stricken areas.
The Head of State noted that it was imperative the concerned ministries move with speed to deliver the essential supplies to affected citizens and their livestock without further delay.
In the meeting attended by representatives from the Finance, Agriculture, Special Programmes, Internal Security, Education, Livestock, Office of the Prime Minister, Northern Kenya and Arid Areas, the President called upon the ministries to allocate enough funds for the exercise.
The Head of State called upon the accounting officers to protect and prudently utilise tax payers money for the maximum benefits of the needy.
He noted that practical and cost-effective steps must be put in place within the budgetary allocations provided by the government.
Measures to be taken include Livestock off-take, provision of relief food, purchase of food from surplus areas and transportation of food to deficit areas.
Others are building up of strategic food reserves, emergency school feeding programme, water provision and livestock feeds programme.
In order to ensure continued production of sufficient food in the next season, the President directed the Treasury to allocate funds to buy fertilizers and urged relevant government departments to procure the product early enough.
All concerned ministries were allocated funds to enable them undertake and execute their plans of action to save the suffering wananchi.
Elaborate strategies to deliver the essential supplies in most affected counties have been put in place with the military and other sections of the disciplined forces expected to play a pivotal role in the transportation and distribution of the supplies.
The most affected counties include Garissa, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Tharaka, Wajir, Mandera, West Pokot, Samburu, Baringo, Kajiado, Makueni, Kwale, Kilifi and Turkana.
In attendance were Cabinet Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, Prof George Saitoti, Prof Sam Ongeri, Esther Murugi, Sally Kosgei, Mohammed Elmi, Fred Gumo, Dr Mohammed Kuti, Assistant Minister Ferdinand Waititu, and Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura.