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Drought menace continues to sting as families receive food donations

Over 200 households hard-hit by drought in Ilparua village, Kajiado County, have received food donations from Dada Digital Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

The vulnerable households facing starvation as a result of the prolonged drought received maize, cooking oil and rice to cushion them from hunger.

Boniface Gor, Director Dada Digital Initiative, noted that many families have been adversely affected by the on-going drought with pupils forced to drop out of school as their parents are unable to feed them and pay school fees.

Speaking in IlParua village, after distributing food donations to the residents, Gor called on more well-wishers and organizations to chip in and assist the families as the situation was becoming dire.

He revealed that many households had lost thousands of livestock, which is their main source of income, and were in desperate need of food aid.

The Director noted that the drought currently being witnessed in over 20 counties in Kenya is as a result of the effects of climate change globally.

He called on residents to plant trees and ensure that they nurture them to maturity so as to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

“The on-going drought that we are witnessing is as a result of climate change. There is a need to mitigate these effects by planting trees and nurturing them to maturity,” he said.

Gor further emphasized on adoption of clean cooking energy solutions to reduce over dependence of fire wood which results in the cutting down of trees.

According to Lilian Nashipae, a resident of IlParua village, women, children and the elderly are the most affected by the drought and are at risk of malnutrition as many families can only afford one meal a day at most.

Nashipae said pupils have been forced to stay at home as they are unable to walk long distances to school due to hunger.

She called for the introduction of the school feeding programme in schools to ensure that learners go back to school.

“We are very grateful to Dada Digital for bringing us food donations as the situation has become worse. Pupils have been forced to stay home due to hunger with many others dropping out due to lack of school fees,” she said.

Felix Maintei, Assistant Chief, IlMarba sub-location, reiterated that the drought situation was worsening and many households were in dire need of assistance.

Maintei said families were on the brink of starvation and acute malnutrition and urgent help was required to cushion them.

According to ASAL Humanitarian Network (AHN) report, the current drought (2020 – 2022), has been the most severe with counties in the Arid and Semi-Arid areas the most affected.

More than 4.5 million people in Kenya representing 24 percent of the ASAL population are facing acute food insecurity with about 2.7 million people in the Crisis Phase and 785,000 people in the Emergency state.

An estimated 2.5 million livestock deaths have so far been reported in the drought-stricken counties due to lack of vegetation and water.

By Rop Janet

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