The whole world is aware of the drought situation in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Well, it is a really sad situation and the whole world is trying to respond in the way that they can.
I was going through my Twitter page yesterday and everyone was talking about the drought speech given by Alfred Mutua (The Kenyan Government Spokesperson) and I couldn’t comment on the issue because I had not heard the speech. Thankfully, someone I know posted the video on Facebook (Thank God for social media) and now I can finally comment. Before I state my point, all the comments had seen on the speech were negative comments.
Funny enough, after listening to the speech I came to the conclusion that his speech raised SOME valid points; emphasis on the word ‘some’ because i don’t agree with everything he said but as I previously said a couple of points he raised were valid and this is just my opinion – Feel free to disagree if you want. ( I have included the video in this post for those who have not watched it). I feel that people are too busy being emotional and sentimental to hear the bits of the speech that make sense.
THE POINTS I THOUGHT AS VALID:
1. He mentioned the system of distribution and logistics . This is true and this happens all the time not just in Kenya but in other countries that face similar situations. Sadly, the people he is representing are the ones to blame for this logistics problem especially considering the fact that this is not the first time that part of the world has experienced drought. The government should have come up with a better distribution system years ago.
2. He also mentioned the issue of getting food to the Somalia refugees and I know this sounds ridiculous but he has a point. having people Walk for over 500 km to become refugees when there are alternative ways of feeding them is a point people should look into. The WFP and other agencies are considering food drops and alternative means of getting food to people. I like that he said it is not moral to wait for refugees to go and die in Kenya when they could have been fed where they were. (Bearing in mind that not all refugees make it to the host countries alive, these deaths could have been avoided). As it is, the refugee camps in Kenya are already over crowded, why put a strain on the already strained UNHCR and their efforts in these camps? However, people who flee do it on their own accord.
3. He made mention of locals (cartels and individuals) who profit from situations like this. This is the best point he raised (In my opinion), It is quite sad that these things happen. It happened in Somalia and Sudan as well. Many aid agencies have complained about having to deal with people who want to desperately profit from humanitarian crises. These people make it difficult for those who are trying to get food to people who need them just because they want to use food as a political and economic tool.
4. Bad media – I’d like to ask the people who think his speech was rubbish if they feel it is okay for the media to take advantage of situations like this. yes, there is drought in Kenya but it is very wrong to say the entire country lacks food and that people should not travel there. Remember that the country also makes money from tourism.
I find it weird that the government claims that no one has died as a result of this drought, I do not believe that as well as a few other things he said. I just thought I should point out that while he was trying to make the Kenyan government seem ‘perfect’ he indeed raised valid points.