April 22, 2024
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Cabinet Secretary for the East African Community, Rebecca Miano, dismissed reports that the government distributed maize and beans that took more than 3 hours to cook.

Appearing before the Senate, Miano disclosed that the government never received negative feedback on maize and beans distributed across the country under the relief programme launched by President William Ruto.

Miano responded to the claims after Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo lamented that some residents were facing difficulties in cooking beans which she argued took longer hours than usual.

Dullo thus implored Miano to give money to the affected people instead of food.

“I remember there was a time views were collected on the ground where instead of giving food to individuals, you give cash transfers. Why can’t you use cash transfer instead of providing food that doesn’t even reach people, especially the beans that take 3 or 4 hours to cook?” Dhullo questioned.

In her response, Miano announced that the government was deliberating on finding alternative dry foods to be distributed under the relief program.

“We haven’t received a complaint about the beans for now and maize that takes longer.  We will continue working on cash transfers so that communities and vulnerable people can continue to sample what else is easier to cook in the market and undertake a survey on alternative relief food or dry foods that may have the same protein,” Miano responded.

The relief food programme was championed by President Ruto and benefitted all 47 counties. Other stakeholders also supported the initiative by raising funds for the kitty.

During her appearance, Miano told the Senate that the government, in collaboration with other partners including the National Drought Management Authority distribute rice packaged in 50-kilogram bags, beans, maize, vegetable oil, and other fortified food bases.

Other humanitarian organizations supplied non-food commodities including iron sheets, timber, nails, mattresses, blankets, jikos, tents, soaps, and sanitary towels.

According to Miano, other communities were supported through water supplies and securing of their livestock, a part of Kenya Kwanza’s decision to alleviate poverty.

On November 2022, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua appealed to Kenyans to donate to a nationwide food drive.

“We appeal to Kenyans to give food so they can be given to those in need. Many Kenyans are suffering and we are making this appeal to help them. No Kenyan should die from hunger when other Kenyans have surplus food,” the DP appealed.

At that time, over 4.1 million Kenyans across 23 counties in Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASAL) felt the heat of prolonged drought.

The government even established a platform allowing Kenyans to submit donations.

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