2017 Lamu food festival cancelled

Some of the food displayed during a past food festival. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Lamu, KENYA: Lamu County has cancelled this year’s Food Festival following the ongoing ravaging drought in the county.

The annual festival is normally held in Lamu island and is known to attract hordes of tourists from around the globe who flock the Archipelago to witness the unique Swahili cuisines, culinary activities including street food bazaars, food expo, food races and competitions, film feast, tours, seminar, cooking classes and donkey pageants.

Speaking at the Mkunguni Square during the closure of this year’s second edition of the Art Festival on Sunday, county executive for Tourism Kaviha Khamis said the county decided to cancel this year’s food festival and instead direct the funds towards assisting those affected by drought in various parts of the county.

Kaviha acknowledged that the issue of drought was giving the leadership sleepless nights and urged well wishers and donors to intervene with food and any other form of aid.

According to a report by the National Drought Management Authority-NDMA in Lamu,over 250,000 people and at least 300,000 heads of livestock are at the brink of starvation due to the persistent drought.

“We will use the money that we would have used to prepare for the festival to instead assist those starving due to drought,” said Kaviha.

This year’s food festival would have been the third since its launch in 2015 and is among many other festivals listed by the county government to help market Lamu as an island of festivals.