AFTER ALL OF TURKANA
DIES OF STARVATION , WHO WILL VOTE JUBILEE ?
Biting drought and hunger are turning lovely , adorable children in Turkana into caricatures . The pain parents endure as they helplessly watch their children waste away and die must be debilitating. I felt my heart constrict as i watched television pictures highlighting the sorry situation in Turkana , reminiscent of the 1985 Ethopian famine that galvanized the world into action . It was our own reknown cameraman Mohammed Amin who brought the suffering to the attention of the world.
An unhealthy preoccupation with campaign mode politics has seen the government fail to take note of drought warnings from the meteorological department . Granted , the government has no control over the vagaries of nature . What we expect of it is the preparedness to mitigate the attendant suffering .
There has been warnings of drought since 2012 and as late as december 2013 . What is the prevailing food situation in the country and what steps have been initiated to bail out the residents of Turkana and outlaying areas ? Is there any proof of the governments commitment to ensure that no citizen dies of hunger ?
With the advent of county governments , we are likely to experience buck passing between the national government and the county government over who should take action . Teething problems for nascent counties absolve the Turkana governor of responsibility . The budgetary allocation for counties cannot allow him to undertake a rescue mission . The onus is therefore on the national government to either avail food from the national granary for Turkana residents or seek international assistance .
We do not have to wait for Safaricom and Red cross initiatives to raise money to save our brothers and sisters .
The government is expected to have set aside contigency funds for such eventualities . If every ministry was to cut its budget by a few million shillings to supplement the contigency funds and with donations from well wishers , we can beat this drought . Who will lead this noble initiative ?
The county government of Turkana should meanwhile send delegations to Israel to find out how the country was turned from being a desert into an agricultural country that is food sufficient . We should also find out how a country like Egypt that is solely dependent on the nile waters could produce enough maize to even export some to us , a country so blessed with rivers and rainfall that food should never lack .