Over 10, 000 school going children from Mavoko sub-county of Machakos County have benefited from the national government’s relief food donation program.
The children were among the 63, 000 residents of Athi River sub county identified by the government as most affected by the ongoing biting drought and in need of relief rations.
Athi River Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu said 10, 007 children from 38 public primary schools in Athi River sub county had been affected by the drought.
“Twelve thousand six hundred households were affected, translating to 63, 000 people in the metropolitan sub county. We thank the government through the State Department of Social Protection. We have received 320 bags of beans of 50kgs each and 800 bags of rice of 50kgs each,” said Wambugu.
Wambungu was speaking Friday when he addressed the press after launching the relief food distribution to affected residents at his office in Athi River.
The administrator had earlier on chaired a sub-county drought mitigation committee comprising Assistant County Commissioners, chiefs, assistant chiefs and village elders before he launched the food distribution exercise.
He said the-sub County was vast stretching to Kyumbi, Konza City and Joska along Nairobi – Kangundo road and highly populated with 12, 600 affected households that could no longer fend for themselves.
“Drought has affected livestock and human beings especially in the above-mentioned areas where most residents practice farming and rear livestock. The entire sub county has been affected by the drought,” Wambugu said.
“As a sub county drought mitigation committee together with stakeholders we have donated 86 bags of rice and 43 bags of beans to schools so that children can get food to eat in school even if it’s three days or one week,” he said.
He called on other stakeholders and well-wishers to join hands in supporting vulnerable families by donating food to support the government in mitigating the effects of drought and save lives.
Wambugu said the government will supply more relief food for distribution to the affected families in the sub county.
“We want to tell our people that there is no food to feed everyone because the affected population is too high. The food can’t be enough for everyone. There is another round of donation expected from the government,” Wambugu said.
He told residents to be hopeful about the forthcoming short rains so things will normalize and the situation in the country will improve.
The DCC thanked Machakos County Government for distributing free seeds to residents across the county where he urged the residents to till their land in readiness for the rains.
“National government and county governments are working together because the philosophy is that we are serving the same people. If you receive seeds, plant them, rain is coming,” Wambugu said.
He said the drought mitigation committees are cascaded up to the sub location levels to identify the most affected residents, households and families to be supported.
Wambugu further urged residents to be their brothers’ keepers by supporting families facing hunger pangs.
Following the worsening drought in the country, the government has embarked on an exercise to distribute relief food to a total of 509, 305 affected Machakos residents.
The food which comprises 200, 000 kgs of rice and 80,000 kgs of beans will be distributed to 142, 630 households in all the county’s nine sub-counties.
Speaking during the flagging off exercise at the Governor’s office last Wednesday, Machakos County Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha said that the national government is working closely with the county government in order to reach out to starving residents.
By Rachael Kilonzo and Emmanuel Gasure