By Manase Otsialo (Credit: The Daily Nation)
Residents of Arabia and Lafey in Mandera County have accused a local non-governmental organisation of unfair distribution of relief food from the World Food Programme (WFP).
A member of the Mandera County Assembly said several complaints have been received from residents of these areas and he called on the NGO to restructure its plan.
Arabia MCA Abdiaziz Dakat Maalim claimed that Consortium of Cooperating Partners(Cocop), an NGO in Mandera, has side-lined the deserving population.
PICKED BY WFP
The NGO was picked by WFP to distribute relief food to the hunger-stricken locals in the county.
“It is very unfortunate for an organisation mandated with saving lives of people to choose not to do what is expected of it and instead take food to well-off populations,” said Mr Maalim.
The MCA wants the organisation to re-organise its programme and take food to Arabia and Lafey sub-counties.
“Destitute population is suffering due to a prolonged drought situation but the humanitarian organisation is ignoring them. Let the NGO do something or the WFP should find another able organisation to do that job,” he said.
But in response, Cocop’s Abass Maalim Mohamed said the organisation is operating under the county government’s schedule.
“It is true we are distributing food but we are directed by the county government and the department of Agriculture can explain why some areas have been left out,” he said.
He explained that they are undertaking a food for asset programme that aims at encouraging locals to take up crop farming.
County Agriculture Minister Johora Mohamed said she was unaware of the complaints.
“There is no complaint which has come to my office on the same. This is WFP phase one of the project that is a five-year plan,” she said in a text message.
She said that the programme will cover all the sub-counties in Mandera.
Locals are demanding that the food distribution process be halted until a better formula is found.
“WFP should know that what is happening in Mandera is not right and they have to find a better way of ensuring food reaches the hunger-stricken population in the county,” said Mr Maalim.
According to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), at least 60 percent of Mandera residents are affected by the current drought situation.
“We are experiencing drought because April rains under-performed in most parts of the county,” said Mr Issack Hapicha, a response officer at NDMA.