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Starving Kenyan Families Migrate To Uganda As Food Shortage Bites Hard

Asokon Lomulin inside her hut at Kamekwi village. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA    

Thousands of families faced with starvation in parts of the North Rift region in Kenya are in urgent need of relief supplies and access to health care as a humanitarian agency issues alert over the deteriorating food situation in the region.

About 100,000 people in West Pokot County are faced with an acute food shortage caused by crop failure due to prolonged drought with the majority of those affected migrating to Uganda in search of food and pasture for their animals.

The hard-hit areas are in Pokot Central and Pokot-sub-counties. Some of the areas affected are Ombolion, Kasei, Turkwel, Kiwawa, Kodich, Alale, Kasei, Takaiwa and Kodich in the Pokot North sub-county.

The Kenya Red Cross Society manager in charge of the North Rift region Esther Chege said 81,219 households are in urgent need of relief supplies.

“Almost all the sub-counties are faced with acute food shortages. We have so far issued cash vouchers of Sh5,000 to 2,723 households to enable them to purchase priority foodstuff,” disclosed Ms Chege.

“We have carried out de-stocking to 5240 households to cushion them from further losses,” said Ms Chege while describing the food situation as worsening.

An estimated 4 million Kenyans are facing starvation due to prolonged drought and erratic rains with those affected are from semi-arid and arid counties in northern Kenya.

A report by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) indicates that families in 23 arid andsemi-arid (ASAL) counties are faced with food shortages and inadequate pasture and water for their animals caused by dry spell.

The report indicates that 8,000 children and 5,365 mothers in Turkana County are faced with severe malnutrition.

Leaders from the affected counties have petitioned the government to provide humanitarian interventions to avert calamities as witnessed in previous dry spell periods.

The government has disbursed Sh1.1 billion to cushion poor and vulnerable families in Turkana, Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties from ravaging drought.

-Business Daily

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