The National Government in conjunction with the County Government of Kilifi has flagged off relief food distribution to over 72,000 residents stricken by hunger in the region.
Kilifi County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka said the nine severely affected sub-counties will benefit from 3,600 bags of rice, 1,440 bags of beans and 900 cartons of preserved meat.
According to the food distribution tabulation released by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), the sub-counties which will receive the aid are Kaloleni, Malindi, Magarini, Ganze, Rabai, Kilifi North, Kilifi South, Kauma and Chonyi.
Mr. Olaka said that the affected sub-counties will each receive 400 bags of rice, 160 bags of beans and 100 cartons of preserved meat.
“I want to assure the people of Kilifi that there is another phase of relief food that will follow in one or two weeks from today. Apart from what the national and county governments are doing, food aid is currently being given by various organizations to residents in Ganze and Magarini,” he said.
The national government, Olaka said was also giving cash stipends to those affected by famine in Ganze, Kaloleni, Jilore, and Adu regions.
“Also, the national and county governments are distributing water to 66 schools and health centers where citizens can go and get water so that we don’t lose a single life because of this famine,” he added.
As he applauded the government’s move, the commissioner assured all Kilifi residents that the food will only be given to the most deserving cases.
On his part, Governor Gideon Mung’aro who was also present said that he is collecting food from donors and well-wishers and refuted claims by the media that the county government has done nothing to help famished residents.
“We got some donors last night who have come with food, we are still trying to collect it at the cereals board. Monday another trip of food from the county and donors will come in and so it will be a continuous exercise to provide water and food,” he said.
Ganze Member of Parliament Charo Kenneth Kazungu, who was present during the launching of the relief food distribution told the media that the hunger condition in his area has reached a devastating stage and some residents are feeding on dry grass roots to survive.
He thanked the government for coming to the rescue of hungry residents even as he advocated for sustainable solutions such as coming up with ways of harvesting rain water to be used for agricultural activities during dry periods.
“Why is Ganze dependent on food aid all the time? I want to urge the county government and the national government to be able to put in place strategies to ensure that even if the rain is low, we should have a water harvest culture to make sure that we preserve water,” he elaborated.
“In the next month or so it will rain. Even if it is not much, you will witness streams are full and all the water will go to the sea and eventually to waste. I encourage the county government to construct a lot of water pans,” he added.
By Jackson Msanzu