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Cabinet tasks Matiang’i to lead drought response efforts

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Cabinet on Thursday set up a committee chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i to ensure that Government response to the drought situation is well coordinated. The committee has also been charged with the responsibility of putting into place mitigation measures for the remainder of the year.

During a meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, millers were warned not to take advantage of the ongoing drought situation to hike price of Unga.

Cabinet warned that stern action will be taken against those who will hoard maize and other essential food items, a dispatch from the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit said.

Cabinet also assured that Government will take necessary measures to ensure basic food commodity prices remain stable. It urged pastoralist communities to start destocking while animals are still healthy and gave an assurance of State help in restocking when weather improves.

The current drought situation has left more than 1.1 million Kenyans hungry following delay of the March-May long rains and the Meteorological Department warns the situation is set to get worse as they are likely to be minimal.

The government has already released Ksh 2 billion to support drought response efforts.

During the meeting, Cabinet also approved the Data Protection Policy and Law. The policy and law enhances the Government’s commitment to protect personal data in order to guard against misuse and eliminate the unwarranted invasion of privacy, which is a Constitutional right guaranteed under Article 31.

The move came as the government pushes to have Kenyans to register for Huduma Namba, which it says will be a single sources of information on Kenyan citizens and foreigners residing in the country. It further argues it will help in improving delivery of services but has faced stiff by those who fear the privacy of information provided is not guaranteed.

Though the High Court ordered that the registration is not mandatory and those who register should not be denied access to services as earlier threatened, Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Francis Wangusi on Thursday warned that it will deactivate SIM cards of those who do not beat the May 18 deadline.

”We are taking stock of registration and by the time the exercise ends, we shall ask the service providers to deactivate all numbers and register them afresh,” Wangusi said in Kisumu.

Also approved were the Kenya Investment Policy (KIP), and the development of the Mombasa and Naivasha Special Economic Zones. KIP aims at consolidating the fragmented investment related policy by creating a framework that establishes a strong coordinating mechanism in Kenya.

As part of the Nairobi decongestion initiative, the Cabinet approved the Development of the JKIA–James Gichuru Expressway project (The Nairobi Expressway Project) as well as the Bus Rapid Transit Line 3 under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

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Cabinet further approved Kenya’s participation at the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019. The Expo presents an opportunity for high level engagement to accelerate discussions for more Kenya fresh produce to access the Chinese market.





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