Kenya receives 45,000 bags of rice from China for drought alleviation
The government of Kenya on Wednesday received 45, 000 bags (50kgs) of rice from China aimed at helping the country to alleviate the biting drought.
Liu Xianfa (left), the Chinese ambassador to Kenya and Josepheta Mukobe (right), the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning during the handing over ceremony of the rice donation on June 21, 2017 at Nairobi, Kenya. Edith Mutethya/China Daily.
Speaking during the donation handover ceremony at Nairobi, Kenya on June 21, Josepheta Mukobe, the principal secretary in the ministry of devolution and planning, lauded the Chinese government for their timely response to the country's drought.
Mukobe noted that most parts of the country didn't receive adequate rains as expected during the recent rain season hence they are still in dire need of food aid.
"While the Western parts of the country received some rains during the March-May season, the arid and semi arid parts of the country didn't receive, hence they are still facing drought," she said.
While handing over the donation at Kenya Ports Authority, Nairobi inland container deport, Liu Xianfa, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya said, the Chinese people are always willing to offer maximum possible support to Kenyans.
"The Chinese people and government are sympathetic to the food shortage faced in Kenya and have made quick response to the appeals of materials and cash aid as needed," he said.
Dr Liu said the hope of the Chinese people and government was that all the emergency assistance implemented by the Chinese government and society will effectively alleviate the difficulties and help the vulnerable people to rebuild their normal lives.
The 45,000 bags (2,250 tons) of rice are the second consignment of a total of 450,000 bags of donations that the government of China promised to send to Kenya in efforts to help the country to tackle drought.
The first consignment consisted of 55,000 bags (2,750 tons) of rice which was distributed in the coastal region last month. The third batch consisting of 2,750 tons has already arrived in Kenya and will be distributed in July. The fourth shipment of the donation is expected to arrive in Kenya in August.
Guo Ce (left), the Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese embassy in Kenya and Josepheta Mukobe (right), the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning display sign documents during the handing over ceremony of the rice donation on June 21, 2017 at Nairobi, Kenya. Edith Mutethya/China Daily.
China is the world's largest producer of rice, and the crop makes up a little less than half of the country's total grain output. China accounts for 30 percent of all world rice production.
The early rice crop grows primarily in provinces along the Yangtze River and in provinces in the South; it is planted in February to April and harvested in June and July and contributes about 34 percent to total rice output.
Beijing announced the donation totalling to 21,000 metric tons of rice worth Ksh2.25 billion ($21.9 million; 20.5 million euros; 17.5 million) in April. The rice will be distributed to hunger-ravaged Kenyans in 23 counties.
The Chinese government responded to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's appeal in February for food aid from the international community, after declaring drought in the country a national disaster.
According to Mukobe, approximately 3 million Kenyans in both urban and rural areas are affected by drought. Children under 5 years and expectant and lactating mothers are highly vulnerable to malnutrition.
The donation was the first ever consignment to be transported by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) cargo freight which was commissioned about two weeks ago. The SGR was constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation. The cargo and passenger freights were made in China.
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