The national government in conjunction with Kilifi County Government and its partners have joined forces to fight hunger in Kilifi, where over 145,000 people are in dire need of water and food due to the ongoing raging drought.
Addressing a stakeholders meeting, Kilifi County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka said urgent responses are being carried out by different civil society organizations comprising food distribution, cash transfers, and school feeding programmes while the government is expected to distribute relief food, a programme that was launched by President William Ruto last month.
Mr Olaka disclosed that the entire Ganze Sub-County, parts of Kaloleni, Jilore and Adu wards in Magarini are the most affected areas adding that aid from different stakeholders has been directed to those areas to save residents from starvation.
“Talks with the organizations that help in providing food, those providing water in areas that are in dire straits and partners who give money directly to the beneficiaries have stressed the need to enhance their activities and save the hungry members of the public from starvation,” he said.
“We have agreed on the strategies that all of us, the national government, the county government, and non-governmental organizations will take to fight this situation of lack of food”, he added.
In an interview with the media, National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) County Coordinator Adam Ndamungu, disclosed that they are waiting for food aid from the government which is expected to be delivered soon.
“We have been promised the arrival of food soon by the government and our target is to start with the worst affected areas in the semi-arid parts of the county where desperate residents are found”, he said.
He further stated that all the stakeholders have agreed to cooperate so that they can achieve the goal of helping the citizens and ensure all the affected have been reached by the aid that the government and non-governmental organizations provide.
Mr Ndamungu added that the hunger calamity has greatly affected school-going children with school attendance declining as families go without food.
He thanked the partners among them Centers for Health and Education Programmes (CHEPS), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Caris Foundation who have already rolled out school feeding programmes but pleaded for more stakeholders to come on board since there are many more affected schools left out.
“We request stakeholders to continue providing food to school children in the affected areas because there are children who sometimes go to school without food but if they get a school feeding programme, it will help them improve their learning and also retain them in the schools”, he pleaded.
CHEPS Project Officer Abubakar Khair told the media that the organization has provided a feeding scheme to lower primary school children in 25 schools in Chakama location, Magarini Sub County.
He further stated that more schools need urgent feeding programmes therefore he called out to other organizations to chip in and save the starving school kids.
By Jackson Msanzu and Harrison Yeri