Vulnerable groups in need of proper food distribution pattern

A large number of Turkana people have been missing out on the relief items given to the needy people due to the poor distribution system.

BY ROBERT KARIUKI LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL

Vulnerable groups in need of proper food distribution pattern

Vulnerable groups in need of proper food distribution pattern

A large number of Turkana people have been missing out on the relief items given to the needy people due to the poor distribution system.
Malnourished people, pregnant women, elderly people, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis victims, psychological and the physically challenged all qualify to be grouped under the vulnerable group.
Poverty is the main and common contributor to vulnerability, which comes along with malnutrition, homelessness, poor shelter and destitution. This group faces a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion than the general population. They often face exclusion from social services for a variety of reasons, the same services which the rest receive without
much effort put.
In most circumstances it is more costly to serve a vulnerable group because they are often more difficult to reach, some are perceived as higher risks making them difficult to handle or may require a special kind of approach that suits them better in their unique situations.
Individuals in the vulnerable group do not have the capability to respond accordingly or be resilient in case a
disaster or an emergency strikes.
Evene when relief food donations is brought to them by donors, a large number of them end up not benefiting. All they left with is sharing the sad stories of how food distribution turned out to be a sham with those not even supposed to benefit smiling all the way to their homes.

In Turkana county, improper, disorganized, unplanned food distribution patterns has been and is still a menace to the lives of the vulnerable group, and as some describe it, ‘relief food donations brings more Mark Nakain distributing food at the Social Ministry office.

PHOTOS: ROBERT KARIUKI harm than good.’
During a food distribution process carried out last month at the social ministry’s office, Diocese of Lodwar, group chairpersons from Turkanacentral sub-county all gathered as they represented their members who were physically present too waiting to get a share of the donated food.
The distribution process was quiet,organized and planned that anyone could barely recognize an activity
was taking place. Turkana central
sub-county disabled group chairman, Mark Nakain and Kanamkemer
disabled group chairman, Peter Lokamar said that food donated and distributed by the county government does not end up benefiting the targeted group because of unnecessary complications that occur during
distribution.

“Food being distributed with the county government undergoes lots of complications, I don’t know why, but the beneficiaries end up on the losing side. When food is to be distributed, we should sit down and plan as group leaders in doing so we will avoid these chaos that erupt now and then,”

said Peter Lokamar.
“It is very sad to see a disabled person being dragged away as he holds on to a bag of maize, he is dragged on the ground as the other person who is normal trying hard to snatch his share, this is the kind of scenes seen when the county govern-
ment is distributing food,” said Mark
Nakain.
“We need an organized and systematic way of distributing food to the vulnerable members of the community, the county government through its respective ministry should involve group leaders because they can identify their members who cannot reach the distribution points and organize how their shares will reach to them,”
Mr. Mark Nakain added.
He however warned those beneficiaries who barter trade their donations in exchange with alcohol saying they risk being deleted from the members list and their names replaced by others. “Some members
within some groups are noted to be misbehaving, they sell their donations and in exchange they receive alcohol which instead of benefiting them it ends up destroying them and even heightening their vulnerability, these people risk being eliminated and soon we are going to do away with them because if a donor from abroad discovers this trend, then he
or she will cut off the donations and we can’t risk,”said Nakain.
Nakain also explained: “The county executive cannot be on the ground when distribution is going on, he is responsible in making sure the food reaches a certain locality and that is where group leaders should be involved, to make sure everyone is benefiting”
The leaders complained that they have been excluded from the distribution plans hence causing problems during the process.
In an interview with the Turkanaguardian, the county executive in charge of public service, decentralized administration and disaster management, Charles Lokioto said beginning this year they will organize a talk with the leaders so that they can sort out their issues and plan on the way forward.
However he said these groups are hard to identify sometimes. “This is a difficulty we have been experiencing because some groups are not known to exist and are not on the records but this is an issue we will look into with group leaders so that when we distribute food we will be knowing the number of beneficiaries and also we want to involve those leaders during the distribution process so that it can be easier on both sides,” said the
county executive.






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