Othaya Member of Parliament, Wambugu Wainaina, has broached plans to set up a constituency food bank to cushion vulnerable families from hunger.
Mr Wainaina says that with the common constituency food bank, surplus non-perishable foods such as maize and beans will be stored and distributed mostly to the old and disadvantaged members of the constituency during food crises such as the drought that affected most parts of Nyeri County.
“The food bank will be a safety- net for the constituency during the drought season because it will ensure that food is available throughout. Additionally, we will not have to over rely on food donations from the government especially during the drought season. Our target groups will be the elderly and people living with disability who are more vulnerable,” said Mr Wainaina.
The first-time legislator was speaking in Othaya town over the weekend when he distributed 15,000 kilograms of relief food from the National Government.
A total of 2,400 families consisting of the elderly and people living with disability benefited from the donations.
The food is expected to sustain the beneficiaries as they wait for the maturity of crops planted during the March-May planting season.
“Even if the rains have started pounding, the first harvest is yet to be witnessed. It will take another few months for them to harvest so this donation will greatly benefit these families,” he said.
Last month, the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) identified Karima in Othaya constituency as one of the new areas that had joined the list of drought affected areas in the county alongside Mukurwe-ini, Mathira East and Mathira West.
Other worst hit areas include Kieni-East and Kieni-West, where over 80,000 residents have been depending on relief food.
In their latest assessment, the authority says that despite the rains the drought had affected 85 per cent of the county.
Overall, the NDMA has classified Nyeri at the alert phase of the drought with over 200,000 people in need of humanitarian support.
By Wangari Mwangi