The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Wabukala Blames the Government for Food Crisis

Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has faulted the government for its failure to meet food needs of more than 3.6 million starving Kenyans. Dr Wabukala said early forecasts clearly indicated there would be would be severe drought with a devastating impact yet the top political leadership failed to plan to deal with its effects.

Speaking at Kamusinga in Bungoma county, the Archbishop said raging famine in Northern and Eastern Kenya "was the result of government's failure to plan" and the buck stops with the grand coalition government's top leadership.

Archbishop Wabukala observed that occurrence of drought was cyclical and government ought to have put in place emergency measures to counter its negative effects on populations in arid and semi arid areas early enough, but did nothing instead leading to the massive starvation being witnessed in the country.

"Government knew from forecasts the drought would be severe and ought to have planned adequately how to deal with the food situation to save those people now starving but leaders did nothing. They have again let Kenyans down letting the situation deteriorate into massive human suffering" the prelate said.

The country along with several others in the Eastern Africa region is witnessing the worst drought in 60 years with an estimated 11 million people affected by famine that has left more than 10,000 dead. Also hard hit is neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia with refugees from the latter crossing into Kenya at the rate of 2,000 per day heightening local food demand.

Wabukala lauded the Kenyans for Kenya initiative to raise Sh500 million towards meeting the food shortfall in the drought hit zones as "noble" and sparked off by the government dragging its feet. He asked political leaders to be more proactive and responsible to ensure government offered basic needs were provided to those they lead.

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