20 March 2019

Kenya: DP Ruto Insists No Deaths As a Result of Crippling Drought

Photo: Delfin Mugo/Daily Nation
Lydia Ekeno with her seven-month old baby girl, who was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition in January 2019.

Mombasa — No one has died owing to the drought in various parts of Kenya, Deputy President William Ruto said on Wednesday.

Ruto termed the reports of deaths reported in parts of Turkana and Baringo county as "fake."

"Concerning the drought and food situation in the country, there is a lot of fake news around what is happening. For example, we were told 11 people have died... that is not true," said Ruto in Mombasa.

Ruto said the area chief and another person who gave out the false information have been taken in by the police for questioning.

"The area chief and the other fellow who gave the report on fake deaths has been taken in because this is a serious matter that we cannot take lightly," said Ruto.

He said it is true Kenya is currently experiencing drought, but the situation is being addressed.

"It is true as a nation, we know where we are. Only 16 per cent of Kenya is arable and 86 per cent is arid and semi-arid, which generally means we are a water-stressed country," said Ruto.

However, the Deputy President said the country is not in a crisis.

"We do not have food-deficiency in the country, the challenge has been distribution. Nobody has died, and we are working round the clock to ensure that no one dies," he said.

He explained that the National Government is working with the affected counties, the World Food Programme and other partners to ensure there is adequate supply of relief food in the affected region.

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