MERU, Kenya, Oct 13 – Famine relief food in Imenti South constituency will only be supplied to the elderly and disabled persons, area Member of Parliament (MP) Kiraitu Murungi has said.
The Cabinet Minister said relief food allocated to the area should only benefit those who cannot engage in economically productive ventures owing to physical challenges, ill health or advanced age.
“Including able people in the relief programme will promote laziness and create a dependence syndrome among my people,” Mr Murungi said.
He challenged his constituents to exploit rivers traversing the constituency to irrigate their highly potential agricultural land to ensure that the area was self-sufficient in food.
Mr Murungi who is also the Minister for Energy directed the local District Commissioner John Kirui to ensure that the 1,000 bags of maize, 150 bags of beans and 100 cartoons of cooking fat given by the government to benefit those facing food shortages was distributed only to the sick and the elderly and the reminder given to institutions catering for the handicapped.
“I don’t want to hear of chiefs convening barazas or scheduling meetings to sort out issues related to distribution of relief food. Use such forums in conjunction with agricultural officers to educate people on ways to utilise local rivers to irrigate their land to ensure food security,’’ said the minister.
Mr Murungi said strict vetting mechanism should be put in place to identify those in dire need of assistance through relief food adding that uniform distribution of the same should be discouraged.
He was speaking at Kaguru Farmers Training center in his Imenti South constituency when he inaugurated a multi-million aquaculture project funded by the government through the recently launched Economic Stimulus Programmme.
Under the project, the government will spend Sh8 million to provide 200 local farmers with the necessary infrastructure to start fish farming. The government will fund the digging of fish ponds, provision of fish herrings and meet other resultant expenses to the tune of Sh40,000 per farmer.
Imenti South is among another twenty constituencies country-wide where the government has rolled out such initiatives aimed at enabling local people establish alternative sources of income.