21 March 2019

Kenya: DP Ruto - Claims of Hunger Deaths Is Fake News

Deputy President William Ruto has termed claims of people dying in Turkana and Baringo counties from starvation as fake news.

According to the DP, no life has been lost due to hunger in the country.

Dr Ruto was speaking on Wednesday during the official opening of the first Inter-Professional Summit in Shanzu, Mombasa.

"There is a lot of fake news around what is happening in Kenya. For example we were told the other day 11 people had died ... . that is not true, from where I sit, from all professionals that we have," said the DP.

He said the government has arrested a Chief and other individuals quoted in the press claiming that people have died of hunger.

"In fact, the chief and the other fellows who faked death, we have taken them in for questioning because these are people who are playing with a very serious matter involving human lives," added Ruto.

At least 21 people are believed to have so far lost their lives.

1.1 MILLION FACING STARVATION

An estimated 1.1 million Kenyans are facing starvation in Samburu, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Baringo, Kilifi, Tana River, West Pokot, Makueni, Kajiado, and Kwale.

On Monday, after days of denial, the government announced a Sh2 billion funding to facilitate ongoing food relief programs and water trucking in the 13 counties.

According to Ruto the government is in control of the drought situation and there should be no cause for alarm.

"In our current situation, we do not have a food deficiency. We have sufficient food in the country. We are, therefore, working with other government departments and the counties to ensure that we accelerate the distribution of food that is already available across the country," said Dr Ruto.

National Disaster Management Authority CEO James Oduor has acknowledged that deaths have been reported but noted they were as a result of illness and not hunger.

"Yes... The deaths are there but according to the reports we have received, those deaths are linked to maybe sicknesses and other issues but not drought," said Oduor.

Food security is among President Uhuru Kenyatta's big four agenda for the second term and on social media platforms, Kenyans are telling him enough is enough.

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