Public health officials have destroyed famine relief maize worth Sh2.25 million delivered to starving Mbeere South residents.
The 500 bags of maize were delivered in July for distribution to the drought victims, but health officials decided to analyse the consignment with a view of establishing whether the maize was fit for human consumption.
Embu County Health Executive Patrick Waganagwa said they received the maize to alleviate hunger in Mbeere South and North Sub-counties, whose residents were starving following the failure of rainfall for some seasons.
Briefing the Press in his office yesterday, he said once they received the maize they first had it tested at the Government Chemist in Nairobi.
“We found it was poisonous and sought for an order from the Siakago Court to destroy the maize to prevent it from being consumed,” said Waganagwa, who was accompanied by Public Health Director Rosaline Kaugi.
He said some of the maize grains were found to have decayed, others had an unusual colour while some were infested by pests. He said the maize was delivered by the national government to the region when it was already contaminated. “The conditions of the maize could have caused serious diseases to the consumers,” he warned.
The executive revealed they had received another consignment of 500 bags from NCPB that is in the process of being tested at government laboratories before it can be distributed to residents.
Waganagwa said the devolved government was working with the Ministry of Interior to ensure toxic maize is not consumed anywhere in the region.