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Over 100,000 facing starvation in Elgeyo Marakwet

Elgeyo Marakwet County Steering Group (CSG) has called for the revival of collapsed irrigation schemes to provide a lasting solution to the problem of food insecurity, especially in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kerio Valley.

Lack of water and insecurity along the Kerio Valley was named as the major contributors of the shortage of food in the area as it emerged that 100,000 people were facing starvation in the county most of them living in the Kerio Valley.

The CSG chaired by the county commissioner John Korir and governor Wisley Rotich heard that Soy South, Soy North, Emsoo, Tambach, Arror, Endo and Sambirir wards were the most affected by the current drought.

The county commissioner told the meeting that the current drought being experienced may persist until March/April next year when the long rains are expected and therefore the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to the thousands facing starvation.

The CSG called for the resumption of school feeding programmes this time targeting not only primary schools but also secondary schools and ECD centres.

Paul Biwott, the organising secretary of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) said most students in the area do not pay school fees with cash but instead in terms of animals and cereals and therefore during such times it becomes quite difficult to run the schools.

The CSG called on the county government to train farmers on post-harvest management of crops saying most of the food is lost due to poor storage.

Jacquline Kurui from World Vision added that it was important for farmers to be sensitized on the need to store adequate food after harvest saying the majority of them sold their food after harvest and they are now being forced to buy at exorbitant prices.

The group called for joint assessment and coordinated efforts from all partners involved in the humanitarian assistance to avoid duplication and thus ensure that all affected get the assistance.

ByAlice Wanjiru

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