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5,194 Kieni households to receive relief food

An estimated 5,194 households in Kieni Constituency will on Friday receive relief food from the National government.

According to a schedule released by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) Nyeri County Drought Coordinator, Lordman Lekalkuli, the relief food distribution exercise will kick off in Kieni East Sub-County, which has been worst hit by the drought.

“Our last food security assessment revealed that Thegu River (8,297 households), Gakawa (8,831 households) and Mugunda ward (8,975 households) are most affected by the drought,” said Lekalkuli.

“The National Steering Committee on Drought Response will distribute relief food to 1,362 households in Thegu river,1450 in Gakawa ward in Kieni East sub-county while 1,474 households in Mugunda ward and 908 households in Gatarakwa ward which are in Kieni West, will also benefit from the donations,” he added.

Data released by NDMA this month shows that Nyeri County is in the alert phase of drought with over 200,000 people in dire need of humanitarian assistance. In Kieni constituency alone, 80,000 households are facing starvation. The authority has also warned that the situation may not improve even with the onset of the long rains of March-April.

“The key drought indicators are availability of food and access to water. The October 2022 rains were poor and the weatherman has forecast that the current rains will be depressed lasting between the last week of March to the first week of April. This below normal performance means that the food situation is likely to deteriorate further,” said Lekalkuli who was speaking during the County Drought Steering Group meeting.

At the same time, the Kenya Defense Forces has been drafted to rehabilitate 14 boreholes in Kieni Constituency at a cost of Sh3.5 million funding sponsored by World Vision.

Lekalkuli said that work has already started in Kieni East which has the bulk of the dormant yet crucial boreholes. Those to be de-silted include Mathina, Ebenezer, Karaguriro, Thungari, Kamburaini, Msafiri, Mirera and Acacia among others

“The county government through the department of water and the NDMA has already identified 12 boreholes in Kieni-East and two in Kieni-West for rehabilitation by the KDF. Additionally, we have provided water tanks for water harvesting to schools and we are in the process of rehabilitating the existing dams,” he said.

By Wangari Mwangi and Alex Macharia

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