In an unprecedented move, President Ruto took the initiative to engage directly with Kenyan citizens via phone calls from the State House office ahead of his inaugural State of the Nation address. The surprising and personal approach aimed to connect with the grassroots and gather insights on various government initiatives.
One of the notable conversations involved a discussion with Masoud Abdullahi, a Community Health Promoter from Garissa. President Ruto inquired about Abdullahi’s views on the recently launched Community Health Promoters program, asking, “Did you get the kits? How do you like the program?” Abdullahi expressed satisfaction, stating, “We are very happy with the program. I have been a promoter since 2011. We are happy for the kits.”
The President extended his outreach to Harrison, a tuktuk driver based in Mombasa, seeking information on his awareness of the Hustler Fund and whether he had utilized it. Subsequently, Ruto conversed with Hannah Kache from Ukunda, Kwale, engaging in discussions about health-related issues.
Nicholas Khabala, a farmer from Busia, also had the opportunity to share his sentiments with President Ruto. The farmer, initially surprised by the call, expressed gratitude for the subsidized fertilizers, emphasizing the positive impact on maize, beans, and cotton farming. Khabala highlighted the significant drop in fertilizer prices, thanks to the government’s efforts, stating, “Sasa tunaweza ipata kwa bei ya rahisi” (Now we can easily access it at an affordable price).
President Ruto explained the motivation behind the fertilizer price reduction, aiming to make it accessible to more farmers. Khabala, appreciative of the initiative, requested farmers be allowed to get fertilizers on credit, especially considering the delay in the arrival of the first batch. President Ruto assured him that he would consider the request and explore ways to assist farmers.
During the conversation, concerns about ongoing heavy rainfall affecting maize prices were raised by Khabala. President Ruto promised to consult with experts to find solutions to address the potential impact on harvest prices. He urged farmers, including Khabala, to contribute to the country’s food security by increasing production.
President Ruto emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting farmers, encouraging the use of more fertilizer during planting to boost productivity. The direct dialogue showcased a unique and personal approach by the President, fostering a direct connection with citizens and gaining valuable insights into their experiences and concerns.