About 500 households in the Solio settlement scheme, Laikipia central sub county have benefited from a consignment of relief food worth Sh6 million, donated by Huawei technologies company in partnership with the national government.
The relief supplies, flagged off by the Deputy President’s spouse Pastor Dorcas Gachagua saw a section of residents get 10 kilograms of maize floor, five kilograms of rice, five litres of cooking oil and five kilograms of beans per household.
Speaking to residents, Mrs. Gachagua said the Kenya Kwanza administration was keen on addressing the drought situation in the country.
“There are efforts in place by both the National and county governments to ensure no Kenyan dies of hunger,” she said.
The Deputy President’s spouse further added that to address the water shortage in Laikipia, the government will construct boreholes in the next six months.
“The only way to solve the water shortage crisis is to sink more boreholes so that people can get water. We want that to happen in the next six months. I know we have partners to talk to,” said Mrs. Gachagua, while calling on residents to more plant trees and revert climate change.
“We have the responsibility to plant trees, we are the people who will change the country’s climate so that we can rains during the expected seasons. It’s between you and me,” she urged.
She said her office will empower young boys, with a view to addressing issues of mental health, aimed at enhancing equality for both genders.
On his part, Laikipia governor Joshua Irungu said he had committed Sh20 million to address drought crisis in the county.
“We have prepared a Sh300 million supplementary budget, which when passed by the county assembly will ensure our people get food,” said Irungu.
He further pointed out that all development matters had been stopped to address the drought issues in the county.
Laikipia East Member of Parliament Mwangi Kiunjuri speaking during the same function said lack of water had affected many residents, an issue that could be addressed in collaboration with other stakeholders.
He said that only last week, the National government, in partnership with the county, had also flagged off food items to schools in Solio and Nanyuki, including 2000 bags of rice each weighing 25 kilograms,833, 10 litre cans of cooking and 185 bags of beans, each weighing 90 kilograms.
At the same time, it is expected that with return of the school feeding program, cases of absenteeism among school going children, which had been witnessed in the recent past due to the prevailing famine will drop drastically.
“We are still soliciting for more resources to feed our people, especially now that we are experiencing a severe drought. We will not allow our people to die of hunger,” remarked Irungu.
Other measures the government is using to address famine in Laikipia are livestock off-take program, cash transfers and providing animal feeds among others.
Other leaders present during the function included Laikipia county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, his Nyeri counterpart Mohammed Barre and local Senator John Kinyua.
Meanwhile, at least 183,000 people are facing acute food shortage in Laikipia County according to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).
By Muturi Mwangi