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Fuel shortage hampers distribution of relief food

A biting fuel shortage that has persisted in Tana River Sub County in the past three weeks has hampered distribution of  relief food to hunger-stricken residents.

The Tana River sub county Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Michael Kioni said the government had availed relief food for distribution but lack of diesel to fuel the trucks had made the distribution impossible.

“We have in our stores 200 bags of rice, 200 bags of beans and 500 bags of maize but we have been unable to distribute the same to those in need because of lack of fuel,” he told reporters in his office on Wednesday.

He said the food would be distributed once diesel becomes available in the limited filling stations within the sub county.

Meanwhile, the DCC has urged the residents of Tana River County at large to embrace irrigation with a view to getting a lasting solution to the perennial food shortages in the region.

“The government will continue providing relief food supplies to the needy, but it is high time farmers in the county

stopped relying on rains, which we have been warned will be depressed this time,” he said.

Kioni was speaking at the Hola Irrigation Scheme during an advisory meeting with farmers on Wednesday.

During the meeting, it was resolved that all animals that had been left to graze inside the scheme be driven out as it was against the law to allow them to graze within the scheme.

“The National Irrigation Board Act outlaws grazing within irrigation schemes,” he said adding, “Only farmers within the scheme are allowed to keep a maximum of four head of cattle to be used for ploughing.”

Kioni said the animals were destroying irrigation infrastructure such as water canals and pipes as well as heightening tension between pastoralists and farmers in the scheme as they were destroying crops.

By  Emmanuel  Masha

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