At least 1,853 households from four wards in Makueni County will get assorted food stuff donated by the national government through the National Steering Committee on Drought Response (NSCODR).
The beneficiaries are drawn from Kimakiu/Kalanzoni, Kilome and Kasikeu wards in Mukaa Sub County and Kee in Makueni Sub County being the worst hit areas by the prolonged drought that has failed crops for five seasons now.
The revelations were made yesterday by the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Devolution Ms. Teresia Mbaika, while officially launching distribution of relief food to famine stricken families in Makueni County.
“This is part of the national government’s efforts to cushion families that have been affected by drought countrywide,” said Mbaika while flagging off the relief food distribution in Makueni at Mukaa Sub county headquarters on Wednesday.
She disclosed that the beneficiaries who were drawn from Kimakiu/Kalanzoni ward total 500, will each receive 6kgs maize flour, rice 8kgs, cooking oil 1 litre, uji mix 3kgs and green grams 3kgs and it is expected to last them for two weeks.
Further, the PS said that a total of over Sh 800 million has been spent to ensure distribution of relief food to nine counties that are classified as the worst hit by the prevailing drought in the country.
The monies are being collected under consolidated fund with a slogan “Wakenya Tulindane” that many people have given donations including Safaricom, Family, Equity, Kenya Commercial Banks respectively among others.
The National Steering Committee on Drought Response (NSCODR) is chaired by the Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Mr. Peter Ndegwa where members include government and other organizations.
The food to the other remaining wards, will be brought as from Thursday. In these areas, livestock have died though they did not say the number and children are malnourished as a result some have dropped out of school.
During the event, the PS said that the national government will rehabilitate boreholes and also desilt dams in the affected areas to ensure they get water for domestic use and watering their animals.
At the same time, Mbaika said that the government was also desilting dams in major national parks to avert wild animals from dying saying they contribute to the growth of the economy.
On the environment, Mbaika noted that climate change is real and has impacted negatively on the globe saying everybody must play a part in conserving the environment in our country.
“I urge the 47 counties to plan ahead of any eventualities. There is also a need to involve our young children in schools in conservation matters,” she posed.
Mbaika challenged the youth to support the government of the day while warning them against being misused by politicians.
Addressing the same function, the Executive Committee Member (ECM) for Devolution Mr. Japheth Mangoka said that the County Government of Makueni has distributed relief food to 34 schools in Kimakiu/Kalanzoni ward.
Although Mangoka did not disclose the amount of food distributed, he said that the county government will give green grams and sorghum seeds to farmers in the area to plant during this period.
“I urge the farmers from Kimakiu/Kalanzoni ward to adhere to the government directive to plant green grams and sorghum seed during this period of depressed rain in the area. This is what will earn them good yields,” said Mangoka.
Makueni County Commissioner Mr. William Kaimba thanked the government for the food donation while saying there was a need to send more food to the area to cushion the suffering families.
Speaking at the same event, Miss World Kenya Chantou Kwamboka who was representing Wakenya Tulindane, appealed for more donations from well-wishers while saying there was a need to educate children on farming.
“I practice modern farming and our children should be educated about farming,” she observed.
Present included Mukaa Sub County Acting Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Elisha Kiogora, the Makueni National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Coordinator Ms. Alice Munyao and other senior officials from the national and county governments.
By Patrick Nyakundi