Boni community accuse county govt of bias in relief food distribution

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Lamu, KENYA: The council of elders from Kenya’s forest community,the Boni minority Community in Panganguo, Lamu West has accused the County Government of Lamu for employing discriminatory techniques in the ongoing county relief food distribution exercise.

On Thursday, the elders held a meeting and called for prompt intervention from both the county and national government by ensuring relief food is evenly and fairly distributed to all those affected by drought in the in the area.

Over 2000 Boni residents in Pandanguo village are faced with starvation following a prolonged drought that continues to bite the region.

A week ago,the county government of Lamu led by governor Issa Timamy launched a relief food distribution exercise for families affected by drought all over the county.

The relief food aid is approximated to have cost the county government Sh.10 Million and included countless bags of maize, beans, rice, wheat flour and cooking oil.

The Boni are however pointing an accusing finger after the relief food failed to reach them a week later despite assurances that all those affected by drought will benefit.

They are now calling on the county government to play fair and ensure the relief food reaches the genuine victims of drought and not just any other person.

“We are aware that the governor launched a relief food distribution exercise, we don’t exactly understand what the issue is but we want him to know that we haven’t gotten a grain;we are hungry.We cant keep waiting because we might die. Let Timamy find out why the assigned officers aren’t bringing us the relief food.There are rumors that most of those being given are people of means who haven’t tasted the drought effects;its unfair,” said Golja Abdullahi.

The elders noted with concern that the lack of adequate food and water has subsequently resulted in many school dropout cases.

“Many of the children can’t go to school anymore. They accompany their parents and walk stretches of kilometers in search of food and water,” added Golja.

The Boni community has for decades since traditional times survived on hunting,gathering and honey harvesting in the Boni forest.

However, since the government launched the Linda Boni security operation, the community has since been locked out in a move seen as having played a huge part in the woes facing the forest community.

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