When the dry spell reports first came to the public limelight, it was clear that this was a disaster that every citizen and the government ought to have taken it seriously.Reports from the ground showed that at least 11 people have died from hunger-related death in the drought-hit areas.The government, as expected, was the first avenue to come to rescue of its affected citizens by supplying maize and beans to them.But this seemed not much as some areas did not receive the food, forcing those who had received to share with their fallow victims.
The drought hit 12 counties, almost a quarter of the whole country, with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa promising to have the problem solved since "we have enough food in the country to deal with the situation.'However, things have turned controversial even as the situation bites everday with media, locals and family members reports indicating that the situation is dire.The question of access to the drought affected region was raised by various government officials, which they say is hindering the supply of food and water, yet during elections, the same government is able to supply election materials to the said areas.CS Wamalwa said the country has enough food in its stores, but is this enough to feed the whole 12 counties, and how about water? How are this loyal Kenyans expected to cook the said food from the government?
The CS also cited failure by the County Governments in dealing with the issue. Yes it is true, but how can County budgets be slated to mega government projects like building dams and irrigation schemes to alleviate hunger?Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri was quoted saying that the government is set to build 31 dams in drought affected areas so that when long rains come, water is harvested and stored. But is this a solution to the current situation? Can 31 dams be build within one week provided that long rains are about to begin this month?The DP and interior CS Fred Matiang'i said the chief who had given reports of hunger-related deaths was taken in for questioning -and indeed it was shown on Citizen TV that that same Chief was forced to change his statement. Is this intimidation to truthful leaders who are ready to represent the voice of their people?What is the future of information in Kenya, if indeed it has been suppressed? Is the fourth estate fake in its mandate as the government purport?