155,000 bags of relief rice from China to be distributed among Kenyans

A file photo of former Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri flagging off the first ever SGR Cargo train apart from the one flagged off by H.E The President, carrying 90 containers-45,000 bags of rice to Nairobi./BRIAN OSWETA.

Mombasa, KENYA: The government has assured Kenyans of enough food supply that will cater for their needs until the next harvest, even as the country is currently facing a countrywide shortage of maize flour.

Speaking in Mombasa on Tuesday during the flagging off of a consignment of 155,000 bags of relief rice from China, Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said these measures are geared towards ensuring that affected Kenyans are effectively cushioned against hunger.

“Since last year October when the drought started biting, the government has continued to put in place response measures and this rice is going to help Kenyans who have been affected by the food shortage.” He said.

The devolution CS flagged off the first ever SGR cargo at the port of Mombasa (aside from the one flagged-off by president Uhuru) carrying 90 containers of 45,000 bags of rice to Nairobi.

In addition, 50 trucks each carrying 500 bags of rice were also flagged off and are expected to transport the rice to other parts of the country from Mombasa.

CS Kiunjuri also added that a ship  arrived at the port with 660,000 bags of Maize, which is expected to be released into the market.

“From today we shall be releasing 2 SGR trains with a capacity of 6,000 metric tonnes-120,000 bags of maize from Mombasa, and one RVR train with a capacity of 1,000 tonnes-20,000 bags to Nairobi.” added Kiunjuri.

Earlier, there were concerns from Kenyans over rice originating from China, after  a video circulating all over social media purported that it was made from plastic.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has however denied claims that plastic rice is being sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Through a statement to newsrooms on Monday, Kebs Managing Director Charles Ongwae said the agency sent its market surveillance team to conduct tests on rice sold in several stores and confirmed that the rice currently in the Kenyan market is safe for consumption.

“All imports are tested in the country of origin under the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity Programme. All imports including rice are to be accompanied with Certificates of Conformity when they arrive in the country,” he said.

He dismissed the allegations adding that the video circulating on social media shows a common process often conducted by manufacturers when recycling plastic materials.