BY MWAKERA MWAJEFA
Kenyan millers have been asked not to take advantage of the ongoing drought situation to increase the price of maize flour with a warning of stern action being taken against those who will be tempted to hoard maize and other essential food stuffs.
Chairing a cabinet meeting at State House in Nairobi on Thursday (April 18), President Uhuru Kenyatta and his cabinet assured that the Government will take all necessary measures to ensure that prices of basic food commodities remain stable.
To mitigate the current drought situation, the cabinet urged pastoralist communities to start destocking while their animals are still in good condition and assuring to help in restocking when the weather situation improves.
The Cabinet noted that the drought in Turkana, Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit and Wajir has worsened from the Alert to the Alarm Stage but assured the people there the government is up to the task to deal with it.
To coordinate this, the cabinet formed a committee to be chaired by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to take charge of putting into place mitigation measures for the remainder of the year through to December 2019.
The meeting discussed and approved the Data Protection Policy and Law which is expected to enhance the government’s commitment to protect personal data in order to guard against misuse and eliminate the unwarranted invasion of privacy that is a Constitutional right under Article 31.
This (policy and law) will ensure that the information provided by Kenyans and foreign registered residents in the country during the ongoing Huduma Namba drive is protected.
The cabinet also approved the Kenya Investment Policy (KIP) and the development of the Mombasa and Naivasha Special Economic Zones which aims at consolidating the fragmented investment related policy by creating a framework that establishes a strong coordinating mechanism in the country.
Under the development of Dongo Kundu (Mombasa) and Naivasha Special Economic Zones, the cabinet says key development areas will be undertaken by the Government and the private sector in three phases.
“The first phase is the development of Port infrastructure and related public infrastructure by the Government of Kenya in partnership with the Japanese Government,” it (the cabinet) says.
As part of the Nairobi decongestion initiative, the meeting approved the Development of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport–James Gichuru Expressway project (The Nairobi Expressway Project) as well as the Bus Rapid Transit Line 3 under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
This project will have several components key among them being the development of a multi-lane highway from JKIA to James Gichuru Road Junction, which will cover 18.6 kilometres.
The other component will be the development of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which will comprise BRT stations, park and ride facilities at high demand commuter transfer points.
Again, the BRT line 3 is part of the government’s Integrated Mass Rapid Transit plan that includes transport infrastructure development and traffic management.
It is expected to transport 300,000 passengers per day and 12,000 passengers per direction during peak hours effectively decongesting the city of Nairobi.
The cabinet further approved Kenya’s participation at the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 (Expo Beijing 2019).
The Expo presents an opportunity for high level engagement to accelerate discussions for more Kenya fresh produce to access the Chinese market.
Already some agricultural products including avocados have been granted access to the Chinese market.