Government urged to step up efforts to tackle drought
The Route to Food Alliance (RTF) on Tuesday welcomed the emergency interventions announced by the government to tackle the current food crisis.
Last week, the government allocated 2 billion shillings under the National Drought Emergency Fund, which will be used to respond to the current drought in the country.
The Route to Food alliance, which advocates for the realization of the right to food as enshrined in article 43 of Kenya’s constitution, has, however, urged the authorities to step up their efforts to ensure that no Kenyan starve.
The alliance further noted that the plight of the thousands of Kenyans who are at risk of starving to death can be avoided if the government takes progressive steps to meet the country’s food and nutrition security needs and go beyond aid. emergency food.
“Over the past few years, we have regularly called for increased budget allocations to the agricultural sector,” the Alliance said in a statement today on the situation of persistent hunger facing some communities, ”said Emmanuel Atamba, Route to Food Alliance.
In its report on last year’s fiscal policy statement, the Route To Food (RTF) alliance said that out of total national government spending from 2013/2014 through 2018/2019, the allocation to the agriculture was less than 4 percent, except for 2015.
Atamba said the trend of low and declining investment in the sector that literally feeds the nation and provides jobs for over 40 percent of the population is unacceptable, and quite the opposite of the government’s obligation to progressive realization. the right of every individual to adequate food. .
The Alliance called on the government to invest more in smallholder producers and local agro-ecological food systems, which would establish a food web in Kenya that would support healthy food production, protect the country’s agricultural biodiversity and build resilience. to climate change.
“National and county governments should start implementing projects that put more money in wananchi pockets and strategic infrastructure projects should be prioritized, especially in ASAL counties, to support activities in areas that increase household incomes and currently reduce the cost of food. increased by glaring inefficiencies in supply chains, ”Atamba said.
The RTF Alliance further called on Kenyan political leaders, at both national and county levels, to pledge to ensure that no Kenyan will die of hunger and to pledge that no Kenyan will die of hunger. ‘No Kenyan goes to bed hungry.
As elections approach, the Alliance also urged Kenyan voters to only reward candidates who demonstrate sound and practical ideas that will lift all citizens out of chronic poverty and hunger.
The Cabinet Secretary (CS) of the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL, Eugene Wamalwa, confirmed last week that so far more than 10 counties are severely affected by the drought, namely Turkana, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir , Mandera, Isiolo, Samburu, Tana River, Kilifi and Lamu. .
“We estimate that the number of people affected by the drought is two million Kenyans and as a national government we are doing everything to support these families by cushioning the most vulnerable people in the counties most affected by the drought,” Wamalwa said.