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ELECTION 2022

MCAs threaten to storm Lodwar NCPB, demand relief food

RIFT VALLEY
By Lucas Ngasike | Mar 26th 2022 | 2 min read

A section of Lodwar Town, Turkana County, November 2016. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

A section of Turkana leaders have threatened to storm Lodwar National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to demand the release of relief food.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok accused the national government of failing to distribute relief food to starving residents saying there was a plot to use the rations to buy voters during the August 9, polls.

“We are concerned that the national government wants to keep the relief food until the poll day so that they use it to woo voters in the region. Let them try, I am in charge of the UDA elections. We shall closely monitor them. We shall jealously guard our votes across the country,” Nanok said.

Speaking at Lodwar Baraza Stadium, the ward representatives led by Kotaruk ward MCA, William Ebenyo, accused the national government of storing the relief food yet locals were facing starvation.

Ebenyo said they will not allow the government to use the relief food for campaigns.

This came amid concerns by residents that the MCAs were the top beneficiaries of the county relief food consignment.

A source privy to Lodwar NCPB confirmed that about 2,000 bags of relief food from the county government had been stored in government stores.

Turkana North nominated MCA Jacinta Abenyo said hundreds of herders from the Kibish sub-county have crossed to neighbouring South Sudan due to starvation.

“The region is facing an imminent drought that has forced dozens of herders to migrate to volatile borders in search of water and pasture for their animals. We appeal to the County and National government to intervene by providing them emergency relief food,” Abenyo said.

Turkana Central Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) David Juma, however, dismissed claims by the MCAs on relief food storage as false.

Juma said the national government had released relief food consignment to various sub-counties and it was distributed to residents in early March.

“We have no other food from the national government left in stores. We have reports that the only food that is available in Lodwar NCPB belongs to World Food Programme (WFP) and the county government," said Juma.

Juma said WFP and the county government have their own arrangement to distribute the food to the residents adding that leaders should confirm with the office of the County Commissioner before publicly rushing to make some erratic statements.

The DCC said the government had moved from relief food dependency to a cash transfer programme. 

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