Turkana MCA expected to propose festival be suspended as drought bites


drought looms in Pokot as rains fail again
pokot

Turkana County is on Thursday expected to debate whether Ksh.20 million allocated for this year’s cultural festival next month should be diverted to help victims of drought.

The annual Tobong’u Lore festival is to be held from April 16-22 in Turkana, the worst county affected by drought.

Turkwell MCA Stephen Edukon is however opposed to the festival and is proposing that the money be reallocated.

“It is a great shame that a county receiving donations from well-wishers to feed its people can spend such a huge amount of money for a festival that is of no consequence at such a time when its people are dying of hunger,” he said.

Mr. Edukon is expected to present a motion at the Turkana County Assembly on Thursday, a proposal that the festival be suspended.

A section of youths from the county led by one Blas Ekai have supported the motion claiming that it is even against their culture to hold a festival while their people are dying of hunger.

In February this year, Turkana got the second highest allocation of Ksh.10.3billion according to the County Allocation of Revenue Bill 2019.

Meanwhile, the Devolution Ministry is seeking Ksh.6billion to assist victims of hunger in Turkana and eight other counties.

Despite recent reports that two people died of hunger in Turkana, the government insists that it is ‘fake news’.

Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday said: “There is a lot of fake news around what is happening in Kenya. For example, we were told the other day that 11 people had died… that is not true from where I sit and from all professionals that we have.”

 

For the past few weeks, Kenyans on social media have shared pictures of drought-hit communities calling for the government to act on the crisis.

Reports indicate that about 1 million people are facing starvation and numbers are expected to rise.

The affected counties include Turkana, Baringo, Samburu, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Kilifi, Tana River, Makueni, West Pokot, Kajiado, Kwale and Wajir.

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Story By Emmanuel Cheboit
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