More than 700,000 people are staring at hunger in Turkana County due to persistent drought and are in urgent need of relief food.
The ravaging drought has even forced over 25,000 Turkana pastoralists relocate to neighbouring Uganda.
The alarming food insecurity has seen the County government purchase 50,000 bags of maize, 15,000 bags of beans and 15,000 jerricans of cooking oil to be distributed to some of the famine-stricken families.
On Tuesday morning, Governor Josphat Nanok flagged off trucks carrying relief food to be taken to affected families in Kokuro, Nanam, Lokichoggio, Kalapata, Kerio, Katilia and Lomelo villages.
“I want to appeal to all the stakeholders like the national government and development partners to move with speed in distributing the food before the situation worsens as the county has a serious food shortage,” Mr Nanok said.
CONTINUOUS FOOD DISTRIBUTION
He said his administration rolled out a continuous relief food distribution programme two years ago targeting 400,000 vulnerable people but the situation has been worsening due to unreliable weather patterns coupled with increased insecurity.
“On completion of this first phase we will again have another phase of distribution in April and another one is June just to make sure that people have adequate food to reduce vulnerability,” the governor said.
He warned those involved in the distribution against diverting the food or selling it.
“I warn anyone with ill motives of planning to sell food that is destined for the poor and hunger stricken residents. The public should be on the lookout and immediately report such people [so that they are] arrested and charged accordingly.” said Mr Nanok.
He criticised the national government, saying it has no clear plan of food distribution.
“We hear there is rice and maize already in the county for distribution but no one has told us the plan, quantities and the targeted villages so that we wholesomely mitigate the drought.” The county boss said.