Government bans unplanned food distribution after Kibra chaos
The government on Saturday banned the uncoordinated direct distribution of food and non-food donations within communities across the country after the Kibra food distribution chaos that left several people injured.
On Friday, desperate residents, who had gathered at the Kibra District Office, tried to force their way in for the food which was donated a well-wisher and in the process broke social distancing rules.
In a statement sent to media houses on Saturday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i directed any donors and well-wishers who would like to contribute to the coronavirus response actions to channel or coordinate their contributions through the Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund.
The CS said the government had noted the many initiatives by private individuals, associations and interest groups, organising to mobilize financial resources, food and non-food items, and distributing these to vulnerable communities across the country.
“Whilst we applaud these efforts, they have led to a breach of the social distancing guidelines as set out by the Ministry of Health and even created disorder. Consequently, the government has with immediate effect banned all direct distribution of food and non-food items across the country,” the statement read in part.
He said the measures will secure the coordination, consolidation, demarcation and distribution of donations in a dignified manner to the vulnerable members of our society across the country, based on the already developed needs map, whilst ensuring that the same is rolled out in a transparent and accountable manner.
“These additional measures will make the donation and distribution more secure to and enhance accountability in the process,” said Matiang’i.
Matiang’i directed National Government Administration Officers to work with the National Police Service to secure strict enforcement of the directive, and further communicate the Fund details and information to all key stakeholders and local community actors in coordinating this national endeavour.
“Donations in other Counties shall be jointly coordinated through the offices of the Governors and County Commissioners. All donated food/non-food items/cash will be accounted for and donors publicly acknowledged for the purpose of transparency and accountability,” he added.
On Friday, police were forced to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd while those controlling the crowd were forced to use force as they beat people.
Some people fell and were trampled, with those injured carried to safety and placed on the ground to recover, gasping for breath.