Kenyans who lie to receive disaster relief will pay a fine of Ksh1 million if Parliament approves The National Disaster Risk Management Bill, 2023 fronted by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah.
The Bill seeks to enhance effective and coordinated disaster preparedness, prevention, response, mitigation, and recovery.
Amid El Nino rains, the government is looking at several ways to help Kenyans including advancing monetary help to Kenyans in need.
The government is also looking to help Kenyans by repairing and reconstructing destroyed property.
The hefty fines are to make sure that Kenyans do not take advantage of the National Disaster Risk Management Authority and make false claims to receive material help.
“A person who knowingly makes a claim which the person knows or has reason to believe to be false, for the purpose of obtaining any relief, assistance, repair, reconstruction or other benefit from the Authority, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both,” the Bill states in part.
Additionally, any Kenyan who makes a false alarm as to a disaster or its severity or magnitude leading to panic commits an offence and will also be liable to a fine of Ksh1 million.
The Bill was debated in Parliament on Tuesday, November 28, a day after President William Ruto announced mitigation measures to deal with El Nino.
Noting that 38 counties had been affected by heavy downpours, the government announced immediate relief measures to the affected households.
The government will airlift medical supplies worth Ksh180 million to affected counties, especially Wajir.
Additionally, the National Treasury disbursed Ksh10 billion to County Governments as part of shareable revenue which will be used to provide emergency relief.
Members of the public who are caught lying to receive medical aid or any other material help will be prosecuted if the Bill is passed into law.