October 26, 2020

COVID-19 MITIGATION- Salvage Economic Strain on Destitute families Mr. President

President Uhuru Kenyatta. Image; (Courtesy)

Episode 22

BY PETER KOMBE

Email: thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com
As a concerned Kenyan I hereby take this opportunity to write a bit of my thoughts.
I’m very happy that the constitution gives me the privilege to express my views in line with the question at hand.
It may appear awkward to some but I think being a Kenyan I equally possess my legal rights to express it in black and white
I believe that today’s article will attract your attention just like the previous one.
And if you appreciate my writing do not hesitate to comment on.
I will be glad to hear from you.
As a columnist am writing in response to the President’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
The President’s Speech contained dozens of issues as a measure to address and cushion needy Kenyans against the COVID 19 pandemic.
But personally I will deal with only one critical issue.

 NEEDY HOUSEHOLDS
The government has initiated a process of identifying needy households in various parts of the country that will start with a pilot project in Nairobi.

This is a good idea Mr. President and I take this humble opportunity to congratulate you on the same.
It is quite a perfect idea that when well implemented will reach out to the targeted groups.
The only loophole that exists here is that the relief in whatever kind might fall in the wrong hands.
The so called cartels if I may brand them.
 If it falls on this lot I want to assure you Dear President that the targeted lot will be skipped in the national exercise.
Again the scope or coverage, Kenya’s geographical position is quite big and there are slum areas are spread throughout the four corners of this country.
My worry is that government may fail to penetrate to the deepest parts of this country where the real effect of COVID 19 is felt.
On Monday this week I had an opportunity to travel to a Wanjani village not is real name.
The village is one of the remotest areas in a county that I have withheld its name, where even primary school going kids do not know the name of their governor.
Just imagine!
Now that they are at home with their parents after government shut down all learning institutions due to COVID 19 outbreak, I had quite a momentous time to interact with them for almost three hours.
Surprisingly, they told me that it is no foreign language for them to spend three consecutive days without a single meal.
And that they only survive with a single meal a day in a promising week.

Needy families receiving relief food from government. Image; (Courtesy)

According to them they weed a shamba for a certain neighboring tycoon who in return gives them a meagre 100 shillings for a 60 by 60 feet piece.
They further argue that the tycoon is so cruel that sometimes he lets them go without even a single penny citing lack of change.
Thank you for your time!
I just wanted to put yourself in the shoes of these two school going kids
This is how painful it is for some families during this COVID period.
One surviving through a single meal for lucky families in this village.

GOVERNMENT BROADEN NEWTWORK
It is high time for government broadens its scope by looking outside the box.
We have thousands of slums scattered in all parts of this country and to be frank enough in every county.
The government is doomed to fail if it only concentrates on a particular area or slum.
There are as many slums in Mombasa, Kisumu, Kericho and other counties throughout the country.

BLOW TO REMOTE AREAS OF SOME COUNTIES
I wish to submit that rural counties will be left out if the government concentrates in slums areas only.

The elderly waiting for relief food. Image; (Courtesy)

I feel that the government will skip some of the remote areas in some counties in this program that seeks to cushion Kenyans with relief food and cash transfer funds.
Kenyans are now feeling the heat of economic meltdown with low income and middle earners sweating blood.
Their struggle to make both ends meet is almost hitting a snag.
Enough for today.

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