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Volume 649: debated on Monday 20 November 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps he will take to assist in preventing recurrent famines in Kenya.

The present famine is the result of abnormal weather conditions. A long period of drought has been followed by exceptionally heavy restrict the volume of outflow water below Pooley Bridge.

I regret that the information about water levels and flows is not available in the precise form asked for by my hon. Friend, but some information which I have received from the Cumberland River Board is given below:"short" rains which have inundated or isolated large areas of the country. In the long run the possibility of serious famine can only be minimised by improved agricultural practice, more enlightened habits in the matter of diet and nutrition, and better communications. The Government are seeking to achieve these ends by continuing endeavours to break down conservative prejudice, and through its general development projects. Since, meanwhile, the possibility of recurring emergencies exists the Governor is considering whether the National Food Relief Committee should be established on a permanent basis to keep under continuous review problems of malnutrition and their solution.