Kilifi calls for food aid to end severe hunger
The Kilifi government has appealed for food aid to end ravaging hunger.
Speaking to the press in his office on Tuesday, county secretary Owen Baya said more than 150,000 people, 137,664 and 11,289 in Ganze and Magarini subcounties, respectively, are faced with starvation.
Baya said at least 40,000 bags of maize and 10,000 bags of beans are needed to end the problem. He expressed fears the two subcounties will depend on food aid for the next eight months.
The plea comes as residents compete with wild animals for wild fruits. In Ngamani, officials say 3,000 residents are depending on wild fruits for survival. Rima Rapera residents are eating wild tubers. This worsens the problem because it endangers their lives. In 2014, 12 children were admitted to the Moi Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta, after they ate poisonous fruits.
Baya said Kilifi experienced 100 per cent crop failure this year due to failed rains. “We have managed to get 5,000 bags of maize and 10 bags of beans. We are going to distribute this before Monday. In most areas, people did not even plant because the rains failed,” he said.
A rapid assessment report conducted three weeks ago indicates Ganze and Magarini need food support until the next harvest.
“We are setting up an office to receive food donations. We expect well-wishers to respond so we can avert loss of life. We are organizing a conference on how best to avoid this perennial problem,” he added.
The county plans to sink boreholes for small-holder irrigation. This is meant to boost food production so residents become self-sufficient.