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Kieni West benefits from Rachael Ruto’s donation

At least 3,000 needy residents of Kieni West Sub County in Nyeri have received food relief, courtesy of the First Lady Rachael Ruto.

The donation, which included 10 tonnes of maize flour, five tonnes of rice, oil, biscuits and juice is part of 32 tonnes of relief food Mrs. Ruto had initially pledged for the county.

Speaking at Karemeno Dispensary in Mugunda ward during the distribution of the consignment Thursday, Julius Tinega, an official from the First Lady’s office said the government was keen in distributing food to all the drought stricken areas, with a view to ensuring that no Kenyan perishes due to hunger.

Tinega, said Mrs. Ruto’s office was committed to working closely with both local and foreign donors as well as other well-wishers in reaching out to families bearing the brunt of the drought.

“The government is putting every effort to ensure food reaches Kenyans in drought ravaged areas of this country. While alive to the severity of this situation, the worst in 40 years of the country’s history, the First Lady has underscored the need to ensure families worst hit by hunger are not left to starve, through availing of food and other basic necessities to them,” said Tinega, during the ceremony also attended by Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Kieni West Deputy County Commissioner Agnes Karoki and area MCA Johnstone Kamau.

Among other beneficiaries of the relief food were 10 secondary schools and eight primary schools that were given porridge flour, nutrition biscuits and fruit juices.

On his part, the governor said more than 130,000 people in Nyeri were in need of urgent humanitarian assistance with Kieni-East and Kieni-West sub-counties being the most affected areas.

Consequently, Kahiga disclosed that the County Famine Relief Coordination Committee had already started the process of vetting tenders for the purchase of relief food worth Sh12 million.

At the same time, they had adopted a multi-agency approach in tackling the food shortage crisis through partnership between the two levels of government on one side and donors on the other side to help fast-track the process of reaching those in urgent need of help.

“As leaders in this county we have come out in one accord in tackling this food crisis currently facing our people, regardless of which level of government one is serving. However, as a county government we shall continue donating food, but the work of ensuring it reaches the intended families remains the work of chiefs and local leaders, since they are better acquainted with matters on the ground,” he said.

Kahiga thanked the First Lady for standing with the people of Nyeri at their point of need, while pledging to continue supporting the Kenya Kwanza government in its endeavor to implement development policies as outlined in its manifesto.

Meanwhile, four seasons of failed rains have put the lives of more than 4 million Kenyans at the risk of hunger, even as an unprecedented drought ravages the Horn of Africa.

Hundreds of livestock have also been reported dead from the prevailing drought, especially in the Northern Kenya counties of Mandera, Garissa and Wajir.

Other counties also bearing the brunt of the prevailing food crisis include Meru, Kajiado, Laikipia, Baringo and Turkana.

A report by the National Drought Management Authority identified Thegu, Mugunda and lower parts of Mwiyogo in Kieni East as among the worst hit by the dry spell, amid reports of animals having died due to lack of pasture.

By Samuel Maina and Wangari Mwangi

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