I haven’t had breakfast yet as I write this, but that is not a cause for concern for me. I will eat when I get the time. I will play a range of options in my head and go for whatever it is that my taste buds want in relation to what I may have in my pocket.
Unfortunately there are millions – not tens – but millions of Kenyans who would probably scorn my statement and even raid my house for a bite to eat. It seems a bit alarming, but maybe rightly so. Kenyan are hungry. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why everybody is so angry nowadays.
I have lived in this country for decades and every single year it is always the same story. The regions of Northern Kenya, Ukambani, and swathes of the Coast, face acute famine and hundreds of thousands are facing hunger.
This is usually followed by declarations of a national disaster; emergency plans and calls by the government to the private sector reaching out for ‘its people’. It is also followed by elaborate speeches where plans are always at an ‘advanced’ stage to ensure nothing of the sort happens again.
I think it’s time that we realised that this process is about as useful as hitting your head on the same wall every hour, wondering why you never saw it coming and nursing your injuries with a blend of self pity.
But now with climate change and recession and rising demand for money, there is a very acute hunger in this country. Areas in Central Kenya, usually unperturbed by these tumultuous seasons, are joining the ranks of dry shambas, dry wells and empty stomachs.
This bloated government needs to up its game because things will not get better next year if the issue is not handled properly now. Let food distributions that are worth billions of shillings reach the intended people and also sponsor plans to prevent ‘future recurrence’ of the same.
Kenya is rich in resource – some areas have more than others. Maybe that is God’s way of making us need each other and work together to make sure that at least, we have food on our plates.
There is a Somali musician (based in Canada) called K’naan, who in one of his songs gave a good description of what hunger might feel like; talking of a little boy whose ‘tummy was tucked in’ and the pain of hunger was ‘fluid’.
Are you hungry?