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Response initiative to deal with food insecurity launched

National
 Interior PS Raymond Omollo. [Jenipher Wachie,Standard]

The Ministry of Interior has launched the 100 Days Rapid Response Initiative to deal with food insecurity in the country.

The initiative aims to enforce rules and regulations in the livestock sector and reduce livestock theft, unregulated trade in animal products, and contamination of food products that have affected eateries and resulted in fatalities in the country.

According to Interior PS Raymond Omollo, all County Commissioners have been directed to form multi-agency teams composed of the Police, DCI, NIS, NGAOs, County Public Health Services, Veterinary Services, and other relevant regulatory agencies with specific terms of reference to enforce the same.

Furthermore, Multi-agency teams have been tasked to identify hotspots for the illegal slaughter of all livestock and to arrest culprits while dismantling all the criminal syndicates involved.

“We are witnessing a worrying pattern of livestock thefts particularly in Rift Valley, Eastern and Central regions and meat seized while being transported to Nairobi and other regions. This theft is linked with the emergence of bandits and cattle rustlers selling meat to unscrupulous traders and transnational criminal gangs who are smuggling and trafficking animal products such as skins across borders linked with other illicit wildlife trade,” said Omollo.

“The Government has declared a Nationwide enforcement of rules and regulations in the livestock sector. The exercise, which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and National Administration, will involve the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Ministry of Health and County Governments.”

Cases of unregulated trade of animal products have been on the rise as demand with the majority being the slaughtering of donkeys to meet the demand for beef in the country.

A recent case on this was recorded in January 2024, where two suspects were detained with 12 slaughtered donkeys and handed over to authorities.

According to Omollo, it is such cases that have prompted the launch of the initiative. However, he says, the government is ready to bring those operators to book.

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