State urged to make adequate investments to address hunger

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022 08:30 | By
A resident of Tiaty in Baringo county tries to save his donkey after it collapsed near Kangoria Dam due to water shortage recently. Although Kenya has a national drought contingency plan, the planning process has many shortcomings. PD/Raphael Munge

A group of civil societies has urged the government to do all it can to avert further deaths from the ongoing food crisis in the country.

The group, comprising Route to Food Initiative, Consumers Grassroot Association, Rural Outreach Africa and Kenya Parliamentary Human Rights Association, urged the government to invest adequately its public resources to address the hunger crisis that has so far affected over 3.5 million citizens.

They also poked holes in the government’s interventions on the ongoing food crisis noting that the government was not making adequate investments to avert the situation.

Emmanuel Atamba, Programmes Coordinator at Route to Food in a statement urged Kenyans to demand the plight of those suffering from the hunger crisis be addressed.

“We have failed our citizens. We cannot afford to go on with business as usual when our fellow countrymen are staring at starvation,” said Atamba at a presser.

On September 8, 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the ongoing drought a national disaster. He further announced that his government had allocated Sh2 billion to address the hunger crisis caused by the drought.

The group also challenged the government to come clean by sharing publicly the number of people reached with such interventions, and mechanisms in place to avert further suffering from food insecurity.

“Let the government provide a detailed report on its interventions (shared publicly) – the severity of the situation, including a clear clarification on the report about possible deaths due to the hunger situation in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, should be explained to Kenyans,” said Atamba.

Alice Kemunto, Director of Consumers Grassroot Association also urged the government to be at the forefront of protecting the lives of its citizens. “Everybody in every part of the country should have access to adequate food,” noted Kemunto.

Atamba said the government should prioritise the development, enactment and rollout of a Right to adequate Food Bill. “As Civil Societies, we are happy to help in spearheading a national framework law on the Right to Food, that way, the government can be held accountable for the deaths of the 11 persons,” he noted.

Kemunto added that there was hope in reviving through stakeholder engagement to help citizens access adequate food.

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