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Hunger pain continues to linger as Kwale families receive relief food

Kwale County Government has kicked off the latest wave of distributing food to drought victims and needy residents in an exercise commissioned by area Governor Fatuma Achani.

The county has distributed assorted food stuff worth Sh4 million to 3,000 drought victims in Puma and Kasemeni wards, Kinango Sub County.

The food consisted of various food items such as maize flour, rice, beans, cooking oil, sugar and salt was purchased by the county government in conjunction with the Kwale Red Cross Society branch, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Family Bank Kwale branches.

Kwale County Government, Red Cross Kwale branch, KCB and Family Bank branches donated Sh 1 million each to the county drought kitty to buy food aid to cushion victims from pangs of hunger amid the ongoing prolonged drought and tough economic times.

Governor Achani said the relief food will be distributed to the most vulnerable families affected by the current biting drought in the region. “My administration and partners are working hard to supply the drought victims with more relief items,” Achani assured.

She directed sub-county administrators, ward administrators and all officials involved in the drought response to ensure fair distribution of the relief food.

“We want absolute transparency and accountability from anyone involved in the food distribution exercise and anyone who goes against this will be provoking the wrath of the law to take its course,” she said.

Speaking while on a series of food distribution exercises, Achani assured area residents that the county has taken measures to deal with the effects of the drought. She promised to mobilize resources from the county, national government and development partners to fund the construction of mega dams to address the perennial water shortages.

Achani was accompanied by her Deputy Chirema Kombo, KCB Kwale Branch Manager Jonathan Rono, Red Cross Kwale Coordinator Mohamed Mwaenzi and Family Bank Chief Marketing Officer Georgina Ndawa.

Achani who chairs the County Drought Response Coordination Committee said at least 200,000 people spread in Kinango, Shimba Hills, Samburu and Lunga Lunga sub counties are in urgent need of relief food and water supplies.

She said that most of the drought victims in the affected communities have lost almost everything in terms of crops and livestock to the ravaging drought and were living on charity.

The county boss therefore, appealed to the donor community and philanthropists to come to aid of the victims in the coastal county. “We cannot handle the situation alone and it is important philanthropic organizations partner with us to address the plight of the drought victims,” said Achani.

She said, “The prolonged drought has affected food production and malnutrition among women and children continues to increase”.

She said the devolved unit in collaboration with the national government, public and private partners have embarked on a food distribution drive to ensure that needy people in areas severely affected by the ravaging drought live in comfort.

Meanwhile, earlier, Governor Achani met in her office a delegation from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to discuss ways of mitigating human-wildlife conflict in the region.

Achani said the drought has worsened human-wildlife conflict and underscored the need to create awareness among communities on how to live in harmony with them.

She said it is evident that the widespread drought in the region has aggravated the situation, as people and wildlife in several places compete for the same water and pasture resources.

She said the drought has become a major cause of human-wildlife conflict in the region and the meeting sought to find ways of safeguarding the coexistence between wildlife and communities around game parks.

The Governor asked KWS officers in the area around Tsavo West and Shimba Hills national parks to monitor the movements of elephants and to assist farmers in preventing damages to crops and property.

By Hussein Abdullahi

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