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County sets aside Sh120 million to feed the hungry

By Silah Koskei | February 3rd 2014

By Silah Koskei

Turkana, Kenya: Turkana County Government has set aside Sh120 million to assist those facing famine in the region.

In an interview with The Standard, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok said his administration would ensure that over 400,000 residents facing hunger are supplied with food.

“So far 50,000 people have been reached and we want to make sure that more gain access to food and water for over three months from the funds,” he said.

Nanok accused the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), Turkana branch, of failing to open up its grain reserves for the county to acquire maize to cushion residents from hunger.

“We have made numerous requests to NCPB for the purchase of maize from them but we have faced a myriad of challenges over claims that we must get a release order from national officials,” he said.

He expressed discontent over the distribution of food to most affected areas by the National Government through use of administrators, terming it an “old and inactive system” that is likely to promote corruption and curtail accessibility to all areas.

The governor hit out at a section of MPs from Turkana for allegedly politicising the famine situation following claims that Sh78 million was sent to the county but has been squandered through acquisition of motor vehicles.

“Who sent the money and to whom was it given? Any money from the Commission of Revenue Authority has to be approved by the Members of County Assembly and we should be truthful to Kenyans,” the governor said.

Nanok called for an inquiry into the claims made by the MPs, saying that those behind the move should face the law.

His denial comes a day after the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning John Konchella maintained that Sh78 million was disbursed to each of the 47 counties.

Konchella revealed that the ministry allocated Sh1.3 billion for relief food, adding that counties were required to set priorities on how to utilise the funds.

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