Hunger bites 80,000 families in Laikipia, Samburu

January 13, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – More than 80,000 families are facing an acute shortage of food in parts of Laikipia West and Samburu districts due to the drought which has ravaged various parts of the country.

Reports from Laikipia and Samburu indicate that thousands of people are beginning to feel the real effects of drought which was first felt in North Eastern Province.

Provincial administrators in the affected areas are now warning of devastating effects unless serious measures are put in place to rescue residents and their herds of cattle.

Samburu Central District Commissioner Khamasi Shivogo on Thursday said that pastoral communities have already started moving their livestock to far flung areas in search of pasture.

“Most of the residents have shifted with their livestock to areas which still have pasture and water,” he said.

“The situation was complicated by the lack of short rains late last year,” he said.
He said Kanampiu, Wamba, Pura Loruk and Longewan are some of the regions worst-hit by the drought.

“These are the areas where immediate food supply should be taken as they have not had a proper harvest in the last two years,” he told Capital News.

Nominated Member of Parliament Maison Leshoomo said that learning in most of the schools will be affected due to lack of food for the pupils and students who will not be able to attend classes.

She said she had observed that many families in the region were going for days without food, adding that children and the elderly people were the most affected.

“Some children have already stopped attending classes in school,” she said and called for immediate government intervention.

"They used to go to school when the institutions were providing free lunch but now the situation has changed as the schools have run out of relief food provided by the government," she noted.

Ms Maison regretted that most of the elderly people were now bedridden as they lacked proper diet.

"The situation is worse as most of them now lay in beds waiting for good Samaritans to come to their rescue. Majority of them rely only on dry maize without beans," she observed.

Special Programs Minister Esther Murugi has said the government is prepared to deal with the drought situation and has already dispatched its officials to affected regions to carry out a survey of the extent of the crisis.


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