The government should ensure that there is food security in the country during Covid-19 pandemic in order to avert a starvation crisis.
Speaking to journalists at the county headquarters in Kathwana Saturday, Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki said there has been a sharp decrease in food supply in markets across the country over the last few months.
Mr Njuki is also the Chairman of the Council of Governors (CoG) Agriculture Committee.
He said a CoG secretariat charged with monitoring food supply in each county has noticed that demand is very low even for the little food that is available in the markets. This is because most Kenyans do not have money as a result of Covid-19 pandemic effects.
“The government must ensure that there is [enough] food supply during the pandemic to avert starvation,” said Mr Njuki.
He said many Kenyans closed their businesses and others lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and have no money to buy food.
The governor added that some families are currently having one meal per day, something that may negatively affect their immunity, making them very weak.
He asked both the county and national governments to fully support farmers to ensure enough food production during the pandemic.
He said there are about 100,005 households in Tharaka-Nithi County, with more than 20,000 living below the poverty line, and over 10,000 who hardly afford basic needs.
He lauded well-wishers who have continued to support the county with food and items needed in fighting the coronavirus including face masks, soap and sanitisers among others.
He acknowledged Broadway Group of Companies that owns Broadway Bakery Limited and Bakex Millers Limited for donating 500 bales of wheat flour valued at Sh625,000.
The county boss asked other investors and well-wishers to support the needy through his office or that of the county commissioner.
Broadway Group Director Bimal Shah said the company has put aside Sh25 million to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the company has distributed to 15 counties wheat flour worth Sh12.5 million and given Sh7.5 million in cash to the Covid-19 National Emergency Response Fund and Sh5 million to Kiambu County Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund.
“Investors should come out and support Kenyans who have been their esteemed customers for many years,” said Mr Shah.
Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki lauded Mr Njuki’s administration for putting in place serious measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
He urged residents to strictly follow the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health to avoid contracting the virus.
Governor Njuki challenged the police to ensure curfew orders are adhered to.
So far, no positive case has been reported in Tharaka-Nithi County.