, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – With parts of Coast province still experiencing food shortage, integrated telecommunications provider Telkom Kenya on Wednesday moved to intervene by distributing relief food to the residents of Ganze district and Vitengeni division of the larger Kilifi region.
Through a joint effort World Vision, Telkom Kenya sent more seventy tonnes of relief food estimated to be worth Sh4 million to the residents of the far flung areas of Kilifi and who had been singled out by World Vision as still vulnerable to food insecurity.
Coast Provincial Commissioner Ernest Munyi flagged of the food caravan in Mombasa Town before it made its journey to the North West where World Vision officials and Telkom staff distributed the food among one thousand four hundred households. He was accompanied by Mombasa Mayor Ahmed Modhar and Town Clerk Tubman Otieno.
Angela Ng’ang’a Mumo the Telkom Kenya Head of Corporate Communications said that the initiative was in fulfillment of the firm’s wider role as a socially responsible corporate citizen.
“In total the relief food we have distributed today will benefit at least eight thousand people and is enough to last them for one month,” she added noting that the firm was also keen to be involved in environmental conservation efforts and initiatives to promote ICT literacy in schools in the province.
The partnership with World Vision Kenya is also to ensure speedy distribution of the food and the Kilifi exercise is part of a wider national effort that has seen the company distribute food aid in West Pokot and Galole in Tana River District over the last two months.
The donation by Telkom Kenya and the Orange Foundation is geared at complementing government efforts to alleviate the food situation in the country.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, the Coast Provincial Commissioner Ernest Munyi said that Kilifi was still a vulnerable area as it had received minimal rainfall and was therefore not expected to garner any meaningful harvests this season.
This situation, he said, had been identified by the December 2009 Drought Monitoring Report from the Arid Lands Resource Management Project by the Ministry of State for the Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands.
Prepared by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG), it indicates that districts that are borderline food insecure with a moderate or high risk of sliding into acute food and livelihood crisis include Kajiado, Narok, Ijara, west of Malindi, parts of Garissa, Baringo, Samburu, Laikipia, Moyale and West Pokot.
The situation is further aggravated by compounding factors that have persisted including, high food prices, increasing conflicts, livestock diseases, deterioration of terms of trade leading to low purchasing power and high malnutrition.
However, the situation is expected to improve with the onset of the long rains as other proposed multi-sectoral interventions kick in.