Distribution of food in slums would be easier if there were street numbers.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how African states have been mishandling their housing, education, agriculture and health sectors.
With most experts fronting the idea of countries imposing full lockdowns to stem the disease, Raila said, this could not be easily achieved since most states, Kenya included, were food insecure.
Even if governments offered to feed vulnerable populations after enforcement of lockdowns, the ODM leader said food distribution will be hit by coordination hitches.
He singled out informal settlements among areas where food distribution will meet obstacles arguing that house numbers and streets would have eased the exercise in slums.
Raila said in a statement:
Distribution of food in slums would be easier were there to be streets, houses with street numbers and residents on known welfare programmes.
adding that African countries needed to restructure living spaces immediately after the epidemic.
Raila’s remarks came hardly a month after about two people succumbed and several others injured during distribution of relief food to a section of Kibra residents on Friday, April 10.
The African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development was among well-wishers who donated a consignment of food valued at KSh 15 million to the residents.
Leaders fear locking down their countries to fight COVID-19 because it could lead to starvation and even upheavals. Yet Africans could easily feed themselves even under a lockdown. 5/8
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) April 26, 2020
Raila is also the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development.
Following the incident, authorities tightened guidelines regulating the distribution of donations and required all contributions to be handed to the government to facilitate smooth sharing.
Leaders in the continent, the former premier said, were also hesitant to lock down their territories fearing their subjects will starve and as a result, cause anarchy.
He, nonetheless, argued that food scarcity in the continent was a self-inflicted wound caused by underutilisation of arable land Africa has for food production.
The country is also under a dusk to dawn curfew.
Section of leaders, for instance, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, whose devolved unit is among hardest hit after Nairobi, has been fronting the idea of a lockdown.
Joho is among governors with relief food distribution programs aimed at cushioning residents from economic freeze caused by coronavirus.