Famine grips Kilifi as crops fail and livestock perish in drought
The state will buy animals from residents, slaughter them and distribute the meat to alleviate food scarcity. It will also supply animal feed
More than 200,000 residents in Ganze and Magarini subcounties in Kilifi county are facing acute food shortage due to prolonged drought and crop failure, county commissioner Joseph Keter has said.
He said the food crisis began in May and residents continue to suffer, despite some government relief food.
Speaking in his office on Friday, Keter said many livestock have died in the drought.
“When the crisis was reported in May, the county had 244,068 vic- tims of hunger but the number has increased to 266,683. Ganze has Sh88,277 and Magarini is the highest with 129,602 staring at starvation,” he said.
“The national government has responded to the hunger situation by distributing 2,270 bags of maize, 1,060 bags of beans, 1,300 bags of rice and 600 cartons of cooking oil. Out of this food, 1,070 food was distributed in Ganze.”
Keter said an animal census conducted by the National Drought Management Authority on animal health in Kaloleni and Ganze indicated that livestock is deteriorating.
“The government will use Sh9 million to buy 450 cows from farmers. The animals will then be slaughtered and meat given to the locals, mostly the vulnerable who include widows, the elderly and those living with disability,” he said.
Another Sh9 million will be spent on animal feeds to be distributed to farmers, he said.
The state and the World Food Program have given out Sh15 million to World Vision to implement a cash transfer programme to those not enrolled in the Inua Jamii cash transfer programme.
A similar Sh24 million initiative to benefit the 1,000 elderly people in Ganze will also be undertaken by the national government and the British and Finish Red Cross societies through the Kenya Red Cross Society, Kilifi branch.
Women walk barefoot to a relief food distribution centre in Ganze, Kilifi county, on July 23