Kenya: Cabinet Warns Millers Against Hiking Flour Prices in Face of Drought

Prevalent drought in Mandera, in the northeast, has led to severe water shortage which has caused livestock deaths (file photo).

Nairobi — The Cabinet has asked millers not to take advantage of the ongoing drought situation to hike the price of maize flour, warning that stern actions will be taken against those who will be tempted to hoard maize and other essential food items.

At a meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi Thursday, the Cabinet also assured that the Government will take all necessary measures to ensure that prices of basic food commodities remain stable.

As a step to further mitigate the drought situation, Cabinet urged pastoralist communities to start destocking while their animals are still in good condition and gave an assurance that the Government will help in restocking when the weather situation improves.

The Cabinet noted that the drought situation in a number of Counties among them Turkana, Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit and Wajir has worsened from the Alert Stage to the Alarm Stage and assured that the Government has the situation under control.

To ensure that Government response to the drought situation in the country is well coordinated, a committee to be chaired by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. The committee has also been charged with the responsibility of putting into place mitigation measures for the remainder of the year through to December 2019.

The Cabinet meeting discussed and approved the Data Protection Policy and Law. The policy and law enhances the Government's commitment to protect personal data in order to guard against misuse and eliminate the unwarranted invasion of privacy, which is a Constitutional right guaranteed under Article 31 of the Constitution of Kenya.

The Data Policy Protection Policy and Law will ensure that the information provided by Kenyans and foreign registered residents in the country during the ongoing Huduma Namba drive is protected.

Also approved at the meeting were the Kenya Investment Policy (KIP), and the development of the Mombasa and Naivasha Special Economic Zones.

The Kenya Investment Policy aims at consolidating the fragmented investment related policy by creating a framework that establishes a strong coordinating mechanism in the country.

The policy is guided by seven core principles which emphasize the need for openness and transparency; inclusivity; sustainable development; economic diversification; domestic empowerment; global integration; and investor centredness.

KIP also addresses private investment at the National and County levels to ensure a seamless promotion and facilitation process, policy and regulatory coherence.

Under the development of the Mombasa (Dongo Kundu) and Naivasha Special Economic Zones, the key development areas will be undertaken by the Government and the private sector in three phases. The first phase is the development of Port infrastructure and related public infrastructure by the Government of Kenya in partnership with the Japanese Government.

As part of the Nairobi decongestion initiative, the Cabinet approved the Development of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport-James Gichuru Expressway project (The Nairobi Expressway Project) as well as the Bus Rapid Transit Line 3 under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The Development of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport - James Gichuru Expressway project will have several components key among them being the development of a multi-lane highway from JKIA to James Gichuru Road Junction, which will cover 18.6 kilometres. The other component will be the development of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which will comprise BRT stations, park and ride facilities at high demand commuter transfer points.

On the other hand, the BRT line 3 is part of the Government's Integrated Mass Rapid Transit plan that includes transport infrastructure development and traffic management. It is expected to transport 300,000 passengers per day and 12,000 passengers per direction during peak hours effectively decongesting the city of Nairobi.

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