ODM STATEMENT ON DROUGHT SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY:
In August, 2009 the last time a drought and famine of the magnitude building up in Kenya hit the nation, the then infant Grand Coalition Government launched an ambitious emergency response programme to provide rapid delivery of food, water and medicine to over 10 million Kenyans in arid and semi arid areas of most affected by the prolonged drought.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, then in charge of coordination of government, together with President Mwai Kibaki were able to put together a response programme to address serious challenges on the government coping mechanisms posed by the unprecedented deterioration of food security. At that time, the rains had failed for the fourth consecutive year.
Kibaki and Raila were able to roll out a multi-faceted rapid response programme that was simultaneously launched in eleven arid and semi arid districts at Loiyangalani trading centre in Marsabit North District.
At the time, Kenyans agreed that it was the first time they witnessed a government go all out in the interest of citizens. Such a response had never been seen before.
About six years later, a government that came to power boasting the youthfulness of its leadership and digital capabilities appears to be caught napping by a drought that has barely lasted six months. The government is also distracted by scandals and wrong priorities and paralyzed by ineptitude while citizens suffer and die.
Despite four years of its key members led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto running around the country making all sorts of promises; from livestock insurance to crop insurance and massive irrigation, Jubilee has been caught asleep.
As pastoralists loose their livestock in record numbers while millions in arid and semi arid lands face starvation, Jubilee is still making promises and addressing State House Summits on how to address the problem which is rapidly spreading.
ODM is sick and tired of this inaction. We are disturbed at this apparent lack of action plan and the all talk and promise and no action. Consequently:
1. ODM demands that the President immediately unleashes State resources and put them at the disposal and service of suffering Kenyans in all parts of the country.
2. ODM demands the immediate deployment of all relevant personnel, including the disciplined forces in the distribution of food, water and hay to all affected communities.
3. We demand the immediate release of money to buy livestock affected by drought to save the pastoralists from the losses in line with the trend the Grand Coalition Government initiated.
4. We demand that the President immediately flags off livestock off-take by Kenya meat commission and other private sector agencies like Farmers’ Choice and Quality Meat Packers to save our people.
5. We demand the immediate launch of massive borehole drilling and distribution of food and water to all affected families across the country.
6. ODM also demands that the government ends with immediate effect the hostilities in the Kerio Valley pitting the Pokot against the Marakwet, which have led to loss of hundreds of lives and left many children orphaned and schools closed while the government goes about daily routines as if nothing is happening. The lives of the Pokot and the Marakwet are as precious as that of any other Kenyan.
We are considering other measures of legal and political nature to ensure the people in the affected areas get what is due to them if the government does not immediately swing into action.
1. Hon Abdikadir Aden, MP, Mbalambala/ National Organising Secretary ODM.
2. Hon Junet Mohammed, MP, Suna East/ Director of Campaigns ODM.
OCTOBER 20, 2016.