Politicians call for postponement of 2022 election
The prevailing drought situation threatens the lives of thousands of people even as the government steps in to deal with the crisis.
Kenyans living in arid and semi-arid areas, especially in the larger Northern Frontier District (NFD) and parts of the Rift Valley, are most affected by the devastating drought and have to go weeks without food and water others being forced to travel hundreds of kilometers in search of precious commodities.
It is this situation that has shocked the leaders of the affected areas about what they call the evasive attitude of the national government to solve the problem.
The leaders of these regions are now calling for the postponement of the elections of August 9, 2022, asking the government to channel these resources to deal with the current crisis and save millions of lives at risk.
An image of carcasses of cattle lying on a field in northeast Kenya.
One of the leaders pressuring the government to act quickly and resolve the situation is Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, who spoke on Friday, November 26.
The governor called on the government to look away from the 2022 election and focus on saving people from starving to death. He said the government paid too much attention to the elections while turning a deaf ear to citizens who desperately called on the authorities to help them access food and water.
The governor further called for the postponement of next year’s elections and the misappropriation of billions of shillings planned for the elections in order to alleviate the dire situation.
“The government must now think about what is priority. Elections can wait, but not hunger,” Muthomi said.
“The billions that have been set aside can be used to urgently alleviate the current situation before it escalates further.”
Governor Njuki’s sentiments followed just a week after leaders in the Northeast region put aside their political differences in a sober move to pressure the government to address the drought situation.
Led by former majority leader in the National Assembly, Aden Duale, and Elders MP Adan Keynan, the leaders said residents were on the verge of starvation if the government did not act. not quickly to distribute food aid.
“We tell the government that the situation is dire, that the rains have failed and that the (weather) forecast is not very good. In the future, the same counties will face lower rainfall, ”said Duale.
The situation at a glance
The areas that have been hardest hit by the raging drought include the northeast, upper and lower east, north of the Rift and parts of the coast.
Parts of Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties that have already reported a moderate drought crisis, have reported insufficient food and water, forcing them to outsource resources to neighboring areas.
In Isiolo County, media reports say more than 60 percent of people are critically in need of food supplies, as they risk starving to death if the threat of drought continues.
Counties such as Marsabit, Wajir, Samburu, Mandera and Turkana are also in the red zone with very little access to drinking water, food and grazing for their cattle.
Regions have reported huge losses from starvation of their animals.
The consequences of drought in most pastoral communities are endless clashes as people hunt their animals in search of pasture, forcing them to invade other peoples’ territories.
An archive image of a woman carrying jerry cans of water in Kenya.