The National Government has commenced relief food distribution in Kilifi County to cushion residents facing starvation.
The launch of the distribution which was presided over by the Government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, at Jaribuni Kauma Sub County. DCC office is targeting families severely affected by the ongoing drought that has left many without food and water.
The exercise began at Jaribuni ward where an estimated 800 families benefited from 500 bags of rice and 400 bags of beans. A total of 4,500 bags of rice and 3,600 bags of beans will be distributed across the County by the end of the exercise.
“It’s a fact that this drought has been very severe. There has been a prolonged drought for more than a year. The rains have come a little too late and not enough and there is a shortage of water and food. I have been sent by our President, Uhuru Kenyatta, to come here so that we can launch the distribution of food here,” Oguna said.
He added that apart from Kilifi County, the famine has hit 23 counties in Kenya and over 2.7 million people are in need of food assistance saying that the government cannot control the amount of rain but can cushion the effects caused by its shortage.
Kilifi County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka, during his address to the residents, said the shortage of food has become the main challenge in the region and the government and its partners have worked together to ensure that no one starves to death.
Olaka lauded the government for its relentless efforts to assist its citizens with relief food and cash money transfers in its efforts to protect them from the severe effects of drought.
“The nutritional situation in the area has become worse but through the cooperation of many stakeholders, led by the National Government and the County Government together with non-governmental organizations, the government has been able to ensure that we do not lose a single person to hunger,” he said.
The County Commissioner warned the residents against selling the relief food. “The government has brought food to help the people of this area but it will be given to those citizens whose status is very low. We would not want the person who has the ability to come here for help then sell it away, because it will deprive the right to life of the person who has no hope,” he added.
The residents, led by Banzi Mranga, thanked the government for the aid and pleaded for continued support because they have suffered from the shortage of food for over two years.
They said the food they received will only last for a few days and urged the government to establish projects that will provide a long term solution to hunger such as constructing boreholes to provide water for irrigation.
By Jackson Msanzu