NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – A train laden with over Sh17 million worth of food aid is to pull out of the Nairobi Railway Station on Friday morning for distribution to famine stricken areas.,
The Mercy Train carrying 80 metric tonnes of food is to be flagged off by Special Programmes Minister Naomi Shaaban and will traverse centres between Nairobi and Mombasa on its first leg.
Kenya Railways General Manager Golicha Tatache explained that the Mercy Train will make deliveries at designated points in its three-day journey and other areas across the country will be covered in the second leg of the Capital FM co-sponsored relief initiative.
“In the initial first leg we are taking the Mercy Train from Nairobi to Mombasa and we have about nine stations where we will stop and distribute food,” Mr Tatache said.
“After the first trip, we will go to other areas like North Kenya, Eastern and parts of Rift Valley provinces,” he added.
98.4 Capital FM has partnered with the Standard Group, Tuskys, Kenya Railways and Kenya Commercial Bank on the mission to alleviate hunger in Kenya.
“The whole country is asking for help; people are dying and there are unfortunate people all over, the country is now facing great difficulties,” Mr Tatache said.
“So now we are raising about Sh20 million so that we feed these needy people.”
The mercy train initiative partners were at the Tusky’s supermarket Pioneer Branch on Thursday receiving contributions towards the cause.
“What is going out there with our brothers and sisters is catastrophic and we cannot sit back and watch,” one staff member said. “We are privileged enough to have jobs, we are privileged enough to have food and drink on our table and we have to give back.”
“This is a very important initiative from Capital FM and other partners to just come out and try and help those who are dying of hunger,” stated Andrew Mwololo, a Senior Account Manager at the station said.
Other Kenyans have been called upon to assist where they can towards assisting those affected by the famine.
“With all the hunger that is currently affecting our country, it is our responsibility to look after our brothers and sisters,” said Phillip Sambu, a sports reporter at the station.
“This is a very good initiative, Kenyans should come out and support it and help the people who are starving in this country,” his colleague George Munyori said.
Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet gave an assessment of the drought situation affecting 10 million Kenyans.
“The government is supposed to release new figures this week which I am sure will be in excess of 2.3 – 2.5 million people,” Mr Gullet explained.
“We have distributed food to the tune of 3,400 metric tonnes of food to various parts of this country,” he stated.