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

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Coast - ELIAS YAA @yaa­juma

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.

/ ALPHONCE GARI

Women walk bare­foot to a re­lief food dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in Ganze, Kil­ifi county, on July 23

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