Of Kenya’s Eaters and Eatists: Hunger as a Development and Social Justice Challenge
D.M. Ombaka

In the year 2010 Kenya promulgated a new constitution that among other things guarantees the right of all persons to food. In spite of thisprivision nearly 10 million Kenyans today continue to suffer from chronic food poverty. Although there are many reasons for this, one of the most obvious ones is the high level of corruption in Kenya society that diverts public resources into private consumption and that to a very large extent subverts public policy. The fact that many Kenyans are starving cannot be wished away and it is an issue that must be addressed not only as the constitutional right that it is but also as a moral duty of social justice. The nearly one-third of Kenyans who are starving are an obstacle to national development and their presence clearly demonstrates the lack of equity in Kenyan society. It is no longer a matter of political choice but a political imperative to put an end to hunger in Kenya. The cry from millions for food brought us together from many faiths. God – Reality itself – calls us to respond to the cry for food. And we hear it as a cry not only for aid but for justice. The spirit of one of the prayers held in our meeting sums up not only our hope but our resolve: “Give bread to those who have hunger, and to those who have bread, give a hunger for justice”. Statement issued by the Conference of Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Christians on Food and Energy in Bellagio, Italy (1975)

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